The Pentagon unveiled its nuclear weapons strategy last week. The new nuclear arms policy calls for the introduction of new types of weapons.
This is a significant strategic shift that effectively ends the Obama administration’s efforts to minimize the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning, the Washington Post reported.
Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette explained this change of course.
“Over the past decade, while the United States has led the world in these reductions, every one of our potential nuclear adversaries has been pursuing the exact opposite strategy,” he said.
This comes as no surprise. In December of 2016, CNN reported on President Trump signaling his desire to expand the American nuclear capabilities. Putin promised the same.
“During his election campaign, (Trump) said US needs to bolster nuclear capabilities and armed forces in general and there is nothing new,” the president of the Russian Federation asserted.
With North Korea having created nuclear weapons and China accusing the United States of “Cold War mentality,” as BBC News reported, the elephant in the room seems to be the question of the impending nuclear arms race. Has it begun? Have we already entered a new era?
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson On The Trump Administration Launching A New Arms Race
Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy and Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson thinks the Trump administration is indeed “threatening another nuclear arms race” meant to confront Russia and China.
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson was recently interviewed by the Real News Network, a non-profit news organization, and shed some light on what he considers to be a “brave new world in terms on nuclear weapons.”
“Now we have the Trump administration, particularly in this Review, orchestrated mostly by the Pentagon, saying, ‘That’s not enough, really.’ And they’re saying that based on some things that the Russians are doing in their exercises and in their doctrine as well as on what the Chinese are doing but in many cases, it is our efforts that have propelled the Russians and the Chinese to do what they’re doing. So, this is another form of what you might call Cold War-like competition starting up to keep our military-industrial complex alive and well prospering, as well as to deal with what might be potential threats in the world,” Colonel said.
Mr. Wilkerson drew parallels between the United States, North Korea, Japan, Russia, and China, stressing the importance of the Chinese departure from Mao’s nuclear arms philosophy.
“The Chinese are thinking differently. With North Korea having created nuclear weapons, and with Japan and the potential for Japan to become a full-up nuclear power, which could happen overnight, with all of that going on, the Chinese are re-looking at their nuclear policy. They’re thinking that they better build enough weapons in order to survive a first strike and to retaliate majorly,” the colonel told the Real News Network.
When it comes to Russia, he sees the situation as sort of a back-and-forth game, between Vladimir Putin, America, and NATO.
“Let’s just look at what the Russians have been doing and they’ve incorporated in their doctrine. In their field army exercises of late, 2013 at least, 2014, they have been saying that one of the things they will do to counter NATO’s supposed superiority in precision-guided munitions, conventional weaponry, is use small-yield nuclear weapons as if that would not be escalatory.”
Before serving at the State Department, Colonel Wilkerson served 31 years in the U.S. Army and retired from active service in 1997.
On February 5, the New York Times published a piece written by Colonel Wilkerson, in which he argued that the Trump administration is doing with Iran what the Bush administration did with Iraq.
The Trump administration is, in his opinion, using “the same playbook to create a false impression that war is the only way to address the threats posed by Iran.”
Unlike the Washington Post’s Paul Sonne, Colonel Wilkerson considers Trump’s nuclear weapons strategy to be a continuation of Obama-era policies which have, in his opinion, been based on the modernization of the American nuclear arsenal.
Conversely, he considers what the Trump administration is doing with Iran to closely resemble George Bush’s Iraq war tactics.
While important chess figures — the U.S., Russia, and China — keep moving on the global geopolitical map, the Trump administration seems to have its eye on Iran. Perhaps that is why the $700 billion military budget was signed into law in December of 2017, as the Chicago Tribune reported.