Opinion: Why Trump Is Wrong On U.S. Nuclear Modernization

by Lara Seligman
Oct 10, 2016

Donald Trump made a sweeping claim during Sunday night’s explosive presidential debate that America's nuclear weapons capability has fallen far behind Russia’s. But the facts don’t back up his assessment.

Donald Trump made a sweeping claim during Sunday night’s explosive presidential debate that America's nuclear weapons capability has fallen far behind Russia’s. But the facts don’t back up his assessment.

“Our nuclear program has fallen way behind. And [Russia has] gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good,” Trump said during his second debate with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Russia is new in terms of nuclear. We are old. We are tired. We are exhausted in terms of nuclear.”

This is just not true. The U.S. is actually in the midst of modernizing all three legs of its nuclear triad: the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), armed with Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM); the U.S. Air Force’s Cold-War era B-52 strategic bombers that carry the nuclear-tipped air-launched cruise missile (ALCM); and the Air Force’s silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Though Trump’s claim that the U.S. “has fallen way behind” in terms of nuclear modernization doesn’t hold up under scrutiny, he is correct that Russia is farther along in its upgrade program than the U.S. However, that is simply because the U.S. and Russia have different cycles of modernization for their nuclear arsenals, and those cycles don’t happen in the same time period, according to Hans Kristensen, director of the Federal of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project.

The U.S. last modernized its nuclear triad in the late 1980s, so there is no need to replace the arsenal until the 2020s or 2030s, Kristensen said. By contrast, Russia’s warheads and delivery systems aren’t designed to last as long. 

“This just shows that he misunderstands the issue, because it’s not about what you are building when, it’s about are the ones that you have ready to be used or credible?” said Kristensen. “I don’t think there’s anyone in the U.S. military who would say sure, let’s swap.” 

Most recently, the Air Force kicked off two multibillion-dollar competitions to upgrade the nuclear arsenal, issuing requests for proposals in July for the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), a replacement for the aging AGM-86B ALCMs, and the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the replacement for the 1960s-era Minuteman III ICBMs. LRSO will be the primary standoff weapon for Northrop Grumman’s next-generation B-21 and existing B-2 stealth bombers, and is expected to be fielded by 2030. Meanwhile, GBSD will replace some 450 Minuteman IIIs around the country, and could cost as much as $85 billion.

Meanwhile, the Air Force plans to buy about 100 B-21 “Raider” stealth bombers, which will be capable of dropping both conventional and nuclear bombs, to replace the legacy B-52 and B-1 fleets. After an October 2015 contract award to Northrop for the engineering, manufacturing and development phase, the B-21 program was held up for several months while the Government Accountability Office assessed a bid protest brought by losing team Boeing-Lockheed Martin. But since GAO overruled the protest earlier this year, the program has stayed on track for a 2025 initial operational capability (IOC) date. The Air Force says the B-21 will become nuclear capable within two years of IOC. 

The Navy’s $97 billion Ohio-replacement SSBN(X) effort to build a new class of 12 new Columbia-class SSBNs is the farthest along of all the Pentagon’s nuclear modernization efforts, with advanced procurement slated to begin in 2017. Top service officials are fiercely guarding the costly modernization effort from budget cuts and sequestration, pushing for a standalone fund, called the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund, to fund SSBN(X) outside the service’s dedicated shipbuilding account.  The Navy expects to buy the first Columbia-class submarine in fiscal 2021 at a price of about $14.5 billion, including $5.7 billion in detailed design and nonrecurring engineering costs for the entire class, and estimates boats 2 through 12 will cost $5.2 billion each.

Simultaneously, the National Nuclear Security Administration is continuing rejuvenation of the precision-guided B61-12 tactical nuclear bomb, which along with LRSO will eventually arm the B-21. The first refurbished unit is expected by fiscal 2020.

Meanwhile, Moscow is certainly making new nuclear delivery systems a national priority, with a new ballistic-missile submarine class and missile in production, as well as continued deliveries of a modern, silo-based and road mobile ICBM.

Russia’s effort to recapitalize its Soviet-era ICBMs with new SS-27 missiles is more than halfway done, and scheduled for completion in 2022, according to a recent report by Kristensen and Robert Norris. Some of these new missiles, which come in two versions, are already in production, Aviation Week reported in 2013: the single-warhead Topol-M was deployed in silos in the late 1990s and as a road-mobile ICBM in 2006. Meanwhile, the RS-24 Yars, a modified Topol-M that can carry multiple, independently targetable warheads, was declared operational in mid-2011 in its silo-launched version, and will be road-mobile as well.  Yars is reportedly capable of carrying four or six warheads.

Moscow is also working on a new heavyweight ICBM called RS-28 Sarmat that is capable of carrying up to ten warheads, Kristensen told Aviation Week. Sarmat is scheduled to begin some test launches this year or next, and will likely be fielded at the turn of the decade. Where U.S. ICBMs are traditionally single-warhead (although some are capable of carrying up to three), Russia has invested in multiple-warhead ICBMs in part to offset a deficit of missile launchers compared to the U.S., Kristenson explained. 

Meanwhile, Russia is also arming its bomber fleet of Tu-160 Blackjacks and Tu-95MS Bears with a new cruise missile, the Kc-102, and plans a new fleet of next-generation PAK DA bombers which are expected to be blended wing-body, stealthy, subsonic aircraft. PAK DA, built by manufacturer Tupolev, has been in development for several years, with a first flight planned for 2019 and delivery to the Russian Air Force around 2023. However, PAK DA has reportedly been delayed.

However, there are signs that PAK DA has been delayed, Kristensen said.  The most significant indication that Moscow is having issues with PAK DA is that Russia recently decided to re-open production of the Blackjack.

“That seems to indicate that they are not switching to the new bomber as early as people have expected,” he said. 

Finally, Russia’s new Project 955a Borey-class fleet of eight total SSBNs, armed with the six-warhead RSM-56 Bulava SLBM, should be ready by 2020. 

STAFF NOTE: this blog entry is the opinion of the author. While we recognize people may hold strong opinions on this issue and we welcome their views, we do not tolerate blatant personal attacks on our staff or guest writers. Any such comment will be removed.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 159

on Oct 10, 2016

You can't expect a particularly rigorous or truthful analysis on nuclear weapons from the publication that endorsed New START which the Russians are now (predictably) violating.

The modernized US strategic deterrent is at least a decade away from IOC. If being a decade behind isn't "way behind" then what is?

And of course, the article glosses over the fact that Hillary wants to *cancel* LRSO.

On the tactical front, the US is way behind and a few hundred repackaged glide bombs with tailkits won't offset the huge Russian advantage.

on Oct 10, 2016

God that's scary. So we should keep worrying about a couple guys bragging about their game to each other on bus 12 years ago then right? Yuck.

on Oct 11, 2016

It's almost as if you didn't even read the article or do any research and just decided to comment regardless. Kind of like Trump.

on Oct 12, 2016

When I was a young Lt, I was told by a boss, "If you can't dazzle the audience with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh-t." When we are still using 70 year old B-52s and buying booster rocket missiles from Russia, we are not behind in the race to supremacy? C'mon now. See the following article from AF Magazine, dated 5 Oct 2015:
Nuclear Numbers Games
—Will Skowronski
​Russia had deployed 148 more nuclear warheads as of Sept. 1 than at the same time last year, US State Department data show. The United States and Russia exchange data biannually as part of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and a fact sheet released Oct. 1 shows Russia had 1,796 warheads on deployed ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers. Last year, 1,648 Russian warheads were deployed. Both counts were above the limit of 1,550 deployed warheads each country must meet by February 2018 under New START. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said the increase is evidence the treaty is a "mistake and a failure. The numbers are clear: while we cut our US nuclear forces, the Russians have built more."

The United States had 1,367 warheads deployed as of Sept. 1, down from the 1,538 deployed last year. But the US count only dropped below the treaty limit for the first time in 2015, as there were 1,642 US warheads deployed in 2014. The United States also had more deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers, with 681, as of Sept. 1, than Russia, with 508. Both countries had almost the same amount of deployed and non-deployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers, with the United States having 848 and Russia having 847, according to the State Department data. Both amounts are above the treaty limit of 800. In March, US Strategic Command chief Adm. Cecil Haney said that while Russia had largely complied with the New START treaty, it had not done so with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that requires Russia to eliminate medium- to short-range weapons. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a bilateral agreement to dispose of 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium due to "unfriendly actions" by the United States.
Bottom line: we are behind and playing catch-up because this and the past administrations 'blinked their eyes.'

on Oct 12, 2016

Agree. Russia and far bigger concerns are reality now. The Chinese were handed our thorium information. Hillary deals on uranium sales involving Russia as well as those nice Chinese deals to clean up our thorium sites shows no genius for anything except maybe feathering her own nest. She ran the White House before so we already know her style and competence and bullying others. It may be different this time around primarily because her illness is MENTALLY debilitating. I am a democrat sad to say. She is incompetent and duplicitous. Any of you notice the massive thorium reactor development and builds in China using our technology? Then there is that pesky issue of rogue nations (terrorist) getting uranium. That one is really a no brainier. Trump is closer to the truth than Hillary unfortunately. She has a fantasy world vision. Her dream is dangerous, self serving, and rehashed communism. Were you ever in USSR? If so you'd recognize her path toward it.

on Oct 23, 2016

If China builds the old US Thorium reactor design that USA chose to not develop, the demand for fossil fuel will be reduced and the problem of storing spent fuel eliminated. I understand these reactors are unsuited to breeding weapons fuel as well. Overall good for everyone on earth I'd say. If Hillary did that, wow, I'll have to adjust up my opinion of her.

on Oct 23, 2017

In what way is thorium strategically dangerous? Please explain.

on Oct 18, 2016

Wanting to cancel the program and then insulting the Russians by blaming all the hacks of the Democrat email systems on them is very dangerous. Either that or Hillary has private information and a private stance which has nothing to do with what she stated publicly.

on Oct 10, 2016

No doubt we want to keep up and frankly be ahead in the nuclear weapons dept., but my biggest concern is more on the side of being able to destroy incoming missiles. Russia is more capable of destroying ours, than we are theirs. S-500. That makes me sick to my stomach. Does anyone think we have something that isn't "known" that is in operation and able to destroy ICBM's primarily enroute via Russia? I wonder, not that anyone really "knows", but because of the escalating tensions between us, and the constant poking from our side to theirs. (Ahhheemm Hillary and her blame game, Kerry and his crime words and our actions in syria) I just have to wonder if they are wearing their usual poker faces, if they're really that confident, or they know something we don't about our defense systems.

on Oct 10, 2016

It would be impossible to keep an anti-ICBM program secret.

on Oct 12, 2016

Keeping defense secrets would be impossible if Hillary is elected. She will sell any information to Russia or China for donations to her daughter's foundation. She is a proven cheat. If she can get away as SecState, she will be king of selling national secrets as president, especially if she pardons Ed Snowden in abstentia like Bill Clinton did for some other cheat.

on Oct 12, 2016

Your post is the perfect example as to why posting should be limited to paid subscribers. I come here for thoughtful discussion about serious topics, not some sort of drunken rodeo.

on Oct 11, 2016

We're poking them? Are you kidding me? You sound like a Putin sympathizer. I bet it's Hillary's fault he invaded the Crimea too, right? Oh, wait, he just annexed it and they wanted it anyway because they're really Russian. Now what other 20th century leader annexed a country and said they wanted it because they were really his countrymen? Hmmm.

on Oct 11, 2016

Unlike the U.S. -- and our nuclear allies in Europe -- Russia is a very fragile country, with its population and military assets largely concentrated in a few small areas. To wipe out half of Russia's population, and most of its military assets, would take about 200 nukes. We already have THOUSANDS.

Specificially, according to AvWeek's own Nov.11, 2013 Special Report issue on nuclear weapons, we have well over 2,000 nuclear warheads, dispersed across over 850 launch platforms -- mostly ballistic missiles (which are pretty much un-stoppable by any existing weapon system), particularly with over half of our nuclear warheads on sea-launched ballistic missiles, which can park off the Russian coast and chuck 'em in with virtually NO real warning).

A similar attack upon the U.S. would also be unthinkably devastating, especially in our vulnerable, overgrown megalopolis from Boston to Washington. But the vast majority of our population would survive a 200-missile assault, and our far-more-dispersed military assets would mostly survive as well.

If you're serious about countering the Russian threat, further offensive capability is largely pointless. What would weaken them strategically, vis-a-vis the U.S. -- and at far less cost, and far greater value in a conflict -- is modernization of our civil defense: greater dispersal of the population, true sheltering and survival infrastructure; healthcare and economic and governing contingencies, for America's first-strike survivors; and hardening and dispersal of our critical infrastrucure -- ranging from a less-vulnerable cyber infrastructure to more robust and dispersed medical infastructure; to a more survivable water and sewage systems.

But that's not as glamourous or tough-sounding as a big shiny missile or jet -- nor as dramatic as a high-tech nuclear weapon or laser -- even though, functionally, it would be far more influential in countering aggressive notions by countries like Russia.

For Russia, survival of onslaught (their own and/or their opponent's) has always been a key strategic consideration -- long reinforced by the trauma of World War II which affected them infinitely more than us (we lost 1 of every 220 Americans; they lost 1 in 10 Russians).

And, unlike the U.S., Russia is ringed with unfriendly or unpredictable nuclear-armed nations. Improving our alliances with Russia's neighbors, and motivating their loyalty to us -- through improved international relations and trade -- is the surest way to keep Russia contained and cooperative.

Remember Russia's role as our ALLIES in the original Desert Storm, under internationalist president George H.W. Bush? And our friendly relations with them under internationalist president Bill Clinton? (Which would have been better, in both cases, if a belligerent Congress had approved more foreign aid for Russia, preventing the collapse of their economy, which caused them to turn to Vladimir Putin). How soon we forget.

But then, AvWeek and its audience aren't really about good national security -- they're all about selling aerospace weaponry.

Not a very objective forum.

on Oct 12, 2016

Thank you for eloquently stating facts that too many do not even think about. if we have enough nuclear power to destroy the world many times over already, why do we need more? You point out several sensible defensive measures we should begin taking right now.

on Feb 4, 2018

We really don't need more nuclear weapons. We just need to update the old ones we have. This is not a political issue. Obama had proposed a very substantial update program through 2030. Let's do that, if Trump's plan is unsat.

on Nov 15, 2016

I entirely agree that civil defense (which we never seriously implemented against the nuclear threat - and concrete is cheap), combined with new technologies for ballistic missile defense such as the Skyguard air defense laser and perhaps HELLADS lasers aloft on long loiter time aircraft could dramatically counter increases in threat missile capability, while our existing nuclear arsenal, upgraded, would provide the necessary deterrence of nuclear attack from threat states such as Russia, China and Iran (and I find it entirely plausible that Iran has a few nuclear weapons, since they've been enriching uranium as long as Pakistan had when they produced their first nuclear weapons, with the same centrifuges, sold to them by Pakistan).

Non-state actors pose a thornier problem, and aerospace technologies alone are unlikely to manage it. For that matter, a clever Russian, Iranian or Chinese leader would consider taking out our cities by sending warheads through third countries as containerized freight. Something we need to address aggressively.

Dolomite (not verified)
on Oct 10, 2016

Have you consider writing an article about " why Hillary is right on US nuclear modernization" it could be more reveling of her intentions about our military readiness.

on Oct 11, 2016

Having watched the debate, and read the transcript, it's clear that the writer is a left-leaning, pro-Clinton plant that is putting words in Trumps mouth and trying to fool the readers, right from the beginning. That's not what Trump said. Following that deliberate deception, how can you be "in the midst" of modernizing all three legs of the triad? The B21 bombers (still on the drawing board) will never reach that mythical number of 100, and as admitted in the article, there is no timeline as to when they would even be nuclear capable. Indeed, the very nuclear weapon slated for those bombers would be CANCELLED by Clinton. The rest of the article merely continues the writer's blinkered vision.

Can Aviation Week at least have the decency to label its political propaganda articles as such?

on Oct 11, 2016

Reading your comment, it's clear you're a right-wing neocon that thinks anything not Fox News is liberal propaganda and Trump is good for our country.

on Oct 11, 2016


It's interesting that you claimed to have "read the transcript" of the debate, yet you don't quote it, nor specify where, exactly, it was -- as you imply -- misquoted.

To check my facts, I went looking for a debate transcript. I was able to find it on all the "mainstream liberal media" websites -- New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, etc. -- but strangely I could not find it ANYWHERE on the FoxNews website! Nor any conservative website I tried. WHO's not coming forth with the truth??

Here's the debate transcript, on that topic, from the Washington Post (Trump speaking):

"Now, with that being said, she talks tough against Russia. But our nuclear program has fallen way behind, and they've gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good. Our government shouldn't have allowed that to happen. Russia is new in terms of nuclear. We are old. We're tired. We're exhausted in terms of nuclear. A very bad thing"

That's pretty much how the author of this article is quoting Trump. You, on the other hand, have no credible source, but your own quote-less spin.

Amazing how much like Trump, himself.

on Oct 11, 2016

For starters, I keep my comments brief, unlike many other regular posters here. I don't copy and paste large slabs of text. Intelligent people don't need to be spoonfed, and will look and check for themselves. Transcripts are very easily found, and the sample you give proves that the author of this article is deliberately trying to mislead the readers. She changed 'program' to 'capabilities', a totally different meaning.
Sit there and let the Clinton people spoonfeed you. After all, the number 2 is pretty close to the number 3, so that's good enough, right?

on Oct 12, 2016

Hillary will scrap all Defense plans to update and enhance our strategic defense assets. She will also continue all defense reductions that Bill Clinton initiated 20 years ago. That's the only way she will be able to pay for her increases of her social programs, like free college, support of millions of illegal aliens that will flow through our unsecured borders, expansion of Obamacare, and other promises she has made.

on Oct 10, 2016

I hadn't realized how Spring Chicken Fresh all those 40+ year old weapons were! Yes . . . they have all gone through upgrades, and are still effective today...BUT...New technology is in order, and we have been kicking this can down the road too long. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living on the Barge in the Middle of that River in Egypt.

on Oct 10, 2016

"Donald Trump made a sweeping claim during last night’s explosive presidential debate that America's nuclear weapons capability has fallen far behind Russia’s. But the facts don’t back up his assessment."
- by Lara Seligman in Ares

Do not try to confuse people with facts.

They have their opinions and reality will not intrude.

on Oct 11, 2016

Nope. People seem to despise facts that don't fit their bias.

on Oct 10, 2016

The Democrat POTUS candidate has stated some crazy stuff in this area also like saying she'd likely cancel the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), as a replacement for the aging AGM-86B ALCMs.

This would neuter the entire US land-based bomber fleet due to the prevalence of advanced SAM systems by Russia and China.

As others have said when will AWST point out that point from the donkey side of the spectrum?

What's Clinton's perspective on the Trident sub and land-based missile replacement programs?

All the "free-stuff" being proposed by candidate Clinton will cost a TON of $$. Another reality check?

on Oct 11, 2016

All the "make America great again" stuff (military weapons, military operations, border walls, deporting millions of people, arming a police state, etc.) proposed by candidate Trump will cost a TON of $$$. Another reality check for the "reality TV" star?

on Oct 13, 2016

One thing, that Trump is, is a business person. New York City tried to fix their skating rink. I believe it is in Central Park and they tried for eight years. Trump came along and fixed it in 3 months. He also built the new post office in New York and he came in under budget, ahead of schedule and did a better job than was spect out. We need somebody with business sense in the White House. Somebody who knows how to get things done. And somebody who is practical. We need 8 years of practicality and 12 years of security, safety and prosperity. Trump Pence 2016.

on Oct 10, 2016

When can we get a "why clinton is wrong to cancel LRSO" article. That won't be the only program she'll be trying to cancel, I'd bet money on it. Zero discussion from this publication on the dangers to our military deterrent with a Clinton as president again.

on Oct 11, 2016

Probably pretty close to the time that hell freezes over.

on Oct 11, 2016

Is anyone arguing that the current US arsenal currently act as a deterrent? What about in 20 to 30 years if no modernisation occurs?

How many nukes need to get through a defensive system before it no longer matter how many were taken down before impact?

Even a small scale war with nukes - say 15 to 20 hitting targets - in a few major countries would be more than enough to cripple the global economy and poison large areas of crop production and water supply for who knows how long.

The USA has major issues with social mobility being low, crippling student loan debts hobbling economic growth, prisons full inmates charged with non violent drug possession crimes, decrepit infrastructure with a lot of bridges near the end f their life spans due to lack of maintenance funding, and people in this forum seem to think spending close to $100B for 12 subs, let me repeat $100B for fracking 12 subs is socially beneficial for the USA. Sheesh.

Australia ain't much better, since we're spending close to $50B on 12 conventional subs from France, and still helping to prob up the joke fighter jet program called JSF35.

on Oct 11, 2016

The voice of reason. The West should be developing anti ballistic missile defences and dismantling the nuclear arsenal at the earliest opportunity.

on Oct 11, 2016

In theory, you're right. IN reality, it is impracticable if not impossible. While Israel proved with Iron Dome that rockets can be hit by rockets, and can be up to 90% effective, it still leaves 10% that will get through with the best anti-missile defense systems. And without a credible nuclear deterrent, wars between big powers become possible again. And there are other factor such as costs and such, but nukes are what keep big wars from happening. We have lots of small wars going on today, as in Syria, but they pale in significance compared to another WWII. The only way to keep WWIII from happening is to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent as well as building up a credible ABM system as well.We need both to avoid another major war.

on Oct 11, 2016

There is no such thing as "a small scale war with nukes", and "15 to 20 hitting targets" means few million causalities at least. In today's environment, with many nuclear countries including Pakistan, Russia, China, North Korea and more, some of which has either unstable or insane governments, any "small scale war with nukes" is going to escalate into a nuclear world war. "First strike" is unlikely to work (you can never be sure you hit all their missiles) and the only sensible use of nuclear force is as a deterrent - therefor second strike force (mostly nuclear missile subs) is the better choice.

on Oct 12, 2016

Believe it or not, first strike is the only guarantee of success against another nuclear power. That's why we can never take that option off the table, like Obama has been contemplating. I hope his Defense advisers convince him to scrap that thought. Use of nukes must also be possible should an adversary ever overwhelm our conventional forces in ground combat.

on Oct 11, 2016

So instead of reinvigorating our deterrent capabilities, you'd like us to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on new bridges and other infrastructure and just leave the door open and unguarded so that Russia and/or China can just walk in and take over the newly refurbished country.
Stay down-under Sydboy, and leave the adults to do their job of protecting our country and people.

on Oct 11, 2016

The Chinese won't invade 'murica...

Specifically to avoid having to deal with the numerous idiots (like "The Donald") that reside there.

A further sampling of the 'murican idiots can be found on this thread.

[BTW: I think Clinton is a sleazy, lying snake that I would not let into my home. But I'd trust her not to nuke half the planet in a bout of rage. That other idiot... I wouldn't. The fact that the US electorate has left themselves in a position where they have to choose between these two is an extremely poor reflection on those that voted for them in the primaries. Gullible sheep who have allowed themselves to be led onto these slippery slopes.]

on Oct 11, 2016

Did you read your comment before hitting the submit button Darth? You say she's a liar and then say that you trust the liar?
I fully agree that she has lied, and I wouldn't trust her for that very reason. Read her Wall Street speeches advocating free and open borders.

on Oct 11, 2016

When you have to pick between the rational liar and the crazy liar...

on Oct 11, 2016

"I think Clinton is a sleazy, lying snake that I would not let into my home. But I'd trust her not to nuke half the planet in a bout of rage. That other idiot... I wouldn't. "
EXACTLY! She IS garbage, and we know she'll stick it to us for the benefit of her corporate owners. She will not, likely, destroy modern civilization. Trump? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Your choice, America: A crappy leader or what's behind Door #2.

on Oct 11, 2016


on Oct 13, 2016

What I'm arguing for is a reality check. The USA already outspends everyone else militarily. Maybe it's time to spend a bit more on fixing the problems you have at home?

How many nukes do you need as a deterrent? How many do you need to get through any potential defence system?

Seems yankees are happy to complain about high taxes and poor govt services and infrastructure, but oh don't you dare cut back on the military.

on Oct 11, 2016

Obama just spent 10 trillion in 8 years. I don't see great roads, stronger military, or really anything. Like a drunk night on the town, just a hangover (if you are lucky).

on Oct 11, 2016


The US just flushed $10 trillion more down the drain during the last 8 years with no tangible improvement in infrastructure here, and a declining military. But US colleges charge outlandish prices to students and the kids dig themselves into debt. What you call non-violent drug crimes destroy the lives of tens of thousands of people each year, but the current POTUS likes to pardon the very perps that sell the crap to people.

Put another "doobie" on your barby and deal with your own personal problems.

on Oct 11, 2016

Yes, Obama blew the $10 TRILLION in infrastructure stimulus money, stupidly, because of his lack of experience in federal government.

Foolishly, he caved in to a "states' rights" Republican Congress, and the "wise" counsel of his Republican Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and -- at their insistence -- turned the money over to state and local governments -- who simply blew it on tax cuts, and unregulated, unplanned development, and corrupt dealings with favorite infrastructure contractors who were big-time state/local Republican campaign donors.

Had he followed the 1930s/1940s example of Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and tightly held the money within the federal govenrment -- and fiercely controlled, planned and regulated everything from the Washington federal government establishment -- we would have had the half-century-lasting infrastructure that FDR gave us.

But then, when you're working with a Republican Congress, and you're new in town, you make compromises you later regret. The money's gone now. Ask your governor and mayor what they did with it.

on Oct 11, 2016

Somehow you manage to blame the Republicans, how typical. Yet in reality Obama blew that $10 trillion paying back all of his political allies and their interests. It's the same old story.

on Nov 29, 2016

#Sydboy007, your fellow Australian, the climatologist Dr. Brian Martin, has an article on the Web (can't do URLs here any longer, you'll have to Google it) called "The Global Effects of Nuclear War". He studied likely environmental impacts of a variety of nuclear exchanges, from that improbably small 20-target exchange upward, and didn't project that much disaster from the small exchange models. Even Dr. Brian Toon, another climatologist from Australia, posited (in his TTAPS study) a much larger number of NUDETS to get the global effects you describe.

on Oct 11, 2016

I wouldn't trust Trump to know anything about what capability the US armed forces have or are in process of. Only the gullible believe him to know more than the Generals, more than the current Government. Trump has never planned or done ANYTHING. In fact he's relied on good project managers to deliver all his achievements. AND he's taken his good suppliers to the cleaners by paying less than the contracted price. Only the gullible are going to vote for a Trump administration because that is going to result in chaotic Government. You might not like who or what you have now, but you'll be in dismay if you elect Trump!

on Oct 11, 2016

That's just the point - Mr. Trump is smart enough to know when and where he should hire knowledgeable people for his team.

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