Speed Reads

going nuclear

Trump: U.S. nuclear arsenal must be 'at the top of the pack'

While he would like to live in a world without any nuclear weapons, President Trump told Reuters on Thursday, as it stands today, the United States has "fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity" and he wants the U.S. arsenal to be "at the top of the pack."

"We're never going to fall behind any country even if it's a friendly country, we're never going to fall behind on nuclear power," he said. The Ploughshares Fund organization says the United States has 6,800 warheads, compared with Russia's 7,000. New START, a strategic arms limitation treaty between the U.S. and Russia, requires that both countries curb their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to equal levels by Feb. 5, 2018, keeping them there for 10 years. Trump told Reuters this was a "one-sided deal," and he's "going to start making good deals."

Along with weeding through its nuclear stockpile, the U.S. is spending $1 trillion over 30 years to modernize its aging bombers, land-based missiles, and ballistic missile submarines. Daryl Kimball, executive director of the nonprofit Arms Control Association, told Reuters that both the U.S. and Russia have "far more weapons than is necessary to deter nuclear attack by the other or by another nuclear-armed country."