Say what you want about 2016 but it’s been a year that keeps on giving and its latest gift, a new cold war, has come just in time for Christmas.
Both the American President-elect Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin have vowed to expand their countries’ arsenals despite mutual treaties between both countries limiting rapid expansion.
Trump made his announcement on Twitter (where else would the President of the United States make such a statement?), explaining he planned on strengthening America’s nuclear arsenal until the world saw sense on nukes. His tweet is believed to be in response to sabre rattling from Putin.
The Russian president had claimed strengthening the country’s nuclear capability should be the chief objective for 2017 during an end-of-year meeting with his defence chiefs, The Telegraph reports.
We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems.
We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralising threats to our country.”
We can say with certainty – we are stronger now than any potential aggressor. Anyone!
The remarks from both men have sparked concerns we may be heading back into a cold war-style arms race and have been further fuelled by recent tensions between Russia and NATO nations.
In response to the criticism, Mr Trump’s website was updated to clarify his comments, stating: “Mr Trump recognises the uniquely catastrophic threats posed by nuclear weapons.”
He added his policy is to modernise the nuclear arsenal ‘to ensure it continues to be an effective deterrent’ even going so far as to say ‘let there be an arms race’.
Speaking to MSNBC today he said:
Let it be an arms race, we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.
Mr Trump did not specify which countries he was referring to when he said ‘them all’, although Trump’s secretary Sean Spicer has given an insight into who he may mean.
He explained that the President-elect would stop countries such as Russia and China, from stepping up their nuclear capabilities by demonstrating the U.S. wouldn’t take this lying down.
Mr Putin on the other hand has responded to comments by saying that this arms race is nothing new.
Listen, we know that 2016 has been a shocking year but a new cold war is taking the recent craze for nostalgia a bit too far.