Trump’s tweeting of his intention to “greatly strengthen and expand” America’s “nuclear capability” worries a disarmament expert:
Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear non-proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, points out that in peacetime, any belligerent Trump tweet about nuclear weapons might not appear as alarming, simply because “confirmation bias” might lead key actors not to interpret it in its most frightening light at that moment. Amid rising international tensions, though, that confirmation bias might work in the other direction, he says.
“Imagine we’re in a crisis – if he recklessly tweets, people could read these things in the worst possible light,” Lewis tells me. “The North Koreans have a plan to use nuclear weapons very early in a conflict. They’re not going to wait around. If they think we are going, they’re going to use nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan.”
The real worry here is the lunatic who would use nuclear weapons in a period of tension rather than actual conflict.
Anyway, it’s great Trump and Putin have a mutual admiration thing going, making it unlikely Trump will ever provoke a Russian first strike by tweeting, “Pussy Putin is a poser with an ugly wife. So sad!” (Trump wouldn’t use poseur because it’s not in his vocabulary.)