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Trump calls for expanded US nuclear capability until "world comes to its senses"

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elect Donald Trump called on Thursday for the country to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world "comes to its senses" - a signal he may support costly efforts to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal.

During the next decade, U.S. ballistic missile submarines, bombers, and land-based missiles - the three legs of the nuclear triad - are expected to reach the end of their useful lives.

Maintaining and modernizing the arsenal is expected to cost at about $1 trillion dollars over 30 years, according to independent estimates.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-nuclear-idUSKBN14B1ZZ

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech Thursday in which he praised his country's military operations on behalf of the government of Syria and made a case for how Russia could be stronger moving forward.

We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, he said, according to an Agence France-Presse translation, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems. In other words, Russia needs to ensure that its arsenal of nuclear weapons can avoid interception by the enemy.

The primary enemy that might intercept those missiles is, of course, the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The language echoes old Cold War rhetoric: Our missiles must be able to serve as a deterrent to usage, by existing as a threat to enemies. If NATO and the United States felt confident that Russia's incoming nuclear weapons could be stopped before reaching their targets, the weapons do not hold the same power for Russia.

You can't have a new nuclear arms race, of course, without someone to run against. Enter President-elect Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted about how he met some really great Air Force GENERALS and Navy ADMIRALS, a conversation during which the subject of nuclear weapons may have come up. It seems more likely, though, that Trump or someone on his team saw the Putin speech or was briefed on it, and Trump chose to respond with the comment above.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/22/donald-trump-and-vladimir-putin-agree-lets-revive-the-nuclear-arms-race/

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I don't suppose we get to hope Donald Trump comes to his senses?


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Does the US even have any active nuclear weapons processing facilities operating other than for disassembly? I know Hanford is essentially shut down and being remediated, but am not sure of other facilities like Oak Ridge.


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