Trump wants to make sure U.S. nuclear arsenal at 'top of the pack'


The words on the part of President Trump clearly go against the Church’s teaching on the topic and advocacy for non-proliferation expressed on this website:


Nuclear Disarmament and the Safety and Security of the Nation and the World
Bishop Oscar Cantú writes to Secretary of State Tillerson stating that it is imperative that we move systematically and relentlessly toward nuclear disarmament and the securing of nuclear materials.

Colloquium on Catholic Approaches to Nuclear Proliferation and Disarmament
Bishop Robert McElroy participates on a panel during a colloquium organized to explore current Catholic approaches to non-proliferation and disarmament in the context of the wider religious, ethical and policy debate.

I firmly hope that, during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to be held this May in New York, concrete decisions will be made towards progressive disarmament, with a view to freeing our planet from nuclear arms."
– Pope Benedict XVI, January 1, 2010

The words and actions of Donald Trump leave me baffled. If he and Putin have the ability to get along, which is good, why could they not further cooperate in getting rid of these weapons? For example, we could “trade off”. Russia has led for awhile, so let us lead for awhile by Russia getting rid of some, then they lead by us getting rid of some, etc.

We can hope that Trump’s stated position is meant to be an opening posture on a deal that actually ends up getting rid of nukes even faster! :thumbsup:

Do we really need to continue this obsolete and immoral nuclear standoff?


I am curious how exactly having nuclear weapons is considered immoral.


There hasn’t been a major conflict on the European continent for 60 years. It seems the “obsolete and immoral nuclear standoff” has been rather effective at preventing war, which we typically consider to be moral. Considering how many people died in the wars prior to the nuclear standoff, I’m not seeing a compelling case for getting rid of it.


So what is enough? Aren’t there enough to blow up the planet two or three times over? How do they justify this in the budget?


I don’t have a problem with this. Ironically, nuclear weapons have probably saved more lives than they have taken as a deterrent to the large-scale wars of the past. Compared to the other evils in today’s world, the danger that nuclear weapons pose to the world is negligible.


You can start here, and dig deeper into encyclicals:

Hope that helps!


With all due respect to Bp Conti, there have to be willing and trustworthy partners in any nuclear reduction agreement. So far, the nuclear powers are:


So far so good. Can be counted on not to do anything foolish.


Not trustworthy but not insane. Unlikely to launch a nuclear war.

North Korea
Soon Iran

Not trustworthy. Not sane enough to preclude the idea of nuclear war being a good thing.

Potential nuclear powers if Iran goes nuclear.

Saudi Arabia


But I am not seeing possession of nuclear weapons as an immoral act.

Can you send specific quotes and context?


Mutually Assured Destruction is a powerful deterrent! I have to agree that lives have been saved because of this


Trump needs to be the greatest, even at blowing up the world.


The Church has repeatedly condemned nuclear weapons. They are NEVER morally acceptable. Pope after Pope has said as much.
And on a practical level…how is the power to destroy the entire planet multiple times over a good thing? If a nuclear war ever started you will die, I will die, every single person on the planet will die…its mutually assured destruction. Its pointless.


Technically, President Trump can only begin the process of modernization of nuclear capabilities – a process that may take 25-30 years. The Pentagons formal Nuclear Posture Review for the President will take a while to produce. And future administrations will have a say in the estimated 400 billion to 1 trillion ballpark that may be potentially spent.

I’d assume there will be plenty of debate about new systems and most likely the triad; hopefully taking a hard look at ICBMs, and debating if they are still necessary. It could save billions of dollars retiring those facility and weapon systems. The readiness and capabilities of underwater delivery systems alone is enough to keep things in relative order. But there are other air delivery methods as well. In addition, adding more missile defense costs a lot and is vital to respond to threats.

Plus, it would help for the US to sit at the table with President Putin and have him re-evaluate Russian military doctrine.

U.S. and Russian views concerning nuclear weapons differ fundamentally. According to a 2012 U.S. National Intelligence Council Report, “Nuclear ambitions in the United States and Russia over the last 20 years have evolved in opposite directions. Reducing the role of nuclear weapons in security strategy is a U.S. objective, while Russia is pursuing new concepts and capabilities for expanding the role of nuclear weapons in its security strategy

Today, Russian military doctrine reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in a conventional war. “The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and (or) its allies, as well as in response to large-scale aggression utilizing conventional weapons in situations critical to the national security of the Russian Federation and its allies.” This publicly stated policy, developed by President Vladimir Putin when he was Secretary of the Russian National Security Council in 2000, likely understates Russia’s thinking on the use of nuclear weapons.

Escalate to De-escalate

Beyond this, North Korea is an exceptionally dangerous Nuclear power because it could conceivably suffer a governmental collapse.



2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. the arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations;110 it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.

Well we definitely currently have more than enough to blow everyone up, so I would say it is over-armament. But I’m no expert, that’s why I go to the catechism and would hope politicians whoever they are, every body would too (if only).


Agreed. We need to get rid of all nuclear weapons.


How do you plan to get nuclear weapons away from a guy who just nerve gassed his own brother?


Yes, the world definitely needs more nukes. Idiot.


I hope Trump doesn’t try to undermine the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Even though the US Senate never ratified the treaty (or has not yet), the US has cooperated insofar as it has not exploded any nukes since it signed the treaty in 1996. This is a good thing.


Indeed there are very few moral uses for such a weapon.
Although the science necessary for it could benefit many other fields.

But that does not mean having them is morally wrong.

Has the church, or has the church not, declared the ownership of such weapons immoral?

How about the R&D of the weapons?


Well, eventually they will come up with something more powerful and deadly…

According to an article I read about CERN and some of the experiments they done with the collider, there is some byproduct of the process, cant remember the name, but I do recall it was something like 'stranglet or ‘quirks’, just a few drops of this material is 10,000X more powerful than a nuke.

One thing is guaranteed though, in the future, they WILL create new weapons capable of much more destruction than anything we have now.


Initially the “superpowers” raced to make big (20-megaton-plus) nukes. The rationale, I believe, was that if the delivery systems (missiles and bombers) could not aim very close, a bigger explosion would still take out the target. The problem is that bigger warheads make a lot more radioactive fallout, which hurts everyone. Delivery systems improved and they decided that they could get the job done effectively and somewhat more cleanly with smaller warheads.

So I’m not expecting anyone to make more powerful weapons. I believe Team Trump is addressing a different problem, and that is the maintenance and reliability of our rather large inventory of old nuclear warheads as they get older. Not that Team Trump came up with the idea. It has been spoken of for decades.

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