2020 presidential race


President Biden, Nuclear Weapons, and US Security: The First 100 Days

, Washington representative and senior analyst

As President-elect Biden prepares for the enormous responsibility of becoming president of the United States, there is one question I want to ask him: Sir, are you a fan of a nuclear arms race? Because you are being handed one, a burgeoning nuclear and technology arms race waged by Russia, China, and the United States.

The Trump administration has embraced this race, with the president’s chief arms control negotiator declaring that the United States knows “how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.” (Oblivion? Seriously?) And yet, perhaps surprisingly, it was President Barack Obama who started the wheels churning on all this; his administration lay plans to build new versions of every piece of the oversized US nuclear force structure—new long-range bombers, new land-based missiles, new nuclear-armed submarines, new nuclear-armed cruise missiles, and new versions of the nuclear warheads they carry. Since coming to office, President Trump added to the list a new, lower-yield nuclear warhead, a new submarine-launched cruise missile, and one more new nuclear warhead for submarine-based missiles.

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Nuclear Weapons and the 2020 Presidential Race: High Demand, Little Debate, Little Knowledge

, manager of strategic campaigns

Last year, I spent a couple of hours at a park in Cambridge, Mass asking passers-by who they thought was involved and had the authority to launch US nuclear weapons. Not surprisingly, most people incorrectly assumed that “Congress,” the “military,” the “Joint Chiefs of Staff” or “the experts” had some say.  And when they learned that under current policy, the US president has sole decision-making authority over nuclear weapons their responses included “spooky,” “worried” and “not good.”  Not good, indeed.
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