At a time when the world is striving for nuclear disarmament, US president-elect Donald Trump is talking about his intention to start a fresh nuclear arms race by expanding the nuclear arsenal of the US. Ever since he shot himself into limelight by standing for the US presidency, he has not stopped scaring the American people and the world at large by one reckless utterance after another. Driving out immigrants, banning outsourcing of jobs, driving out and banning the entry of Muslims in the US, imposing heavy fines on US companies that manufacture products in other countries and sell at home – the list is endless. But an open call to plunge the world in another arms race takes the cake. China is sure to take up the challenge and add to its nuclear arsenal with more powerful bombs with better delivery systems. So may its ally Pakistan.
Militarily, the United States is the most powerful country. Its military spending is the highest in the world, with China coming as a distant second. As possessors of nuclear warheads, Russia comes first with a total of 7500, followed by the US with 7200, France 300, China 250 and the UK with 215. Then there are the smaller countries like India and Pakistan. The total number of nuclear warheads, as estimated by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, is 16,300. The number is enough to destroy the world several times over. But, unfortunately for nuclear chest-thumpers like Trump, the world can be destroyed only once! Adding to the number of nuclear warheads in a country’s arsenal does not necessarily make it stronger.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States is the world’s sole superpower. If the head of this country suffers from a nuclear paranoia, apart from his queer ideas on a number of other issues, the danger of a nuclear Armageddon will always hang like the proverbial Damocles’ sword on mankind, if not on all forms of life in this planet. The American people have been against the wars the rulers of their country fought in distant countries, from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan. The US could not win a single war. All it achieved was to bring about the widespread death and destruction in these countries, besides causing a heavy drainage on US economy. The US people are not likely to support any move by Trump that can only endanger their own safety.