More! Bigger!

Love Fred Kaplan on Trump’s desire for so many nukes (the reason Tillerson called him an f***ing moron):

The message is thus clearly sent out to all aides: This president is not interested in learning. To argue your case, find a way to align your views with his buttons, then push them unashamedly. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, reportedly persuaded him to send more troops to Afghanistan in part by showing him a photo from the 1970s of women in Kabul wearing miniskirts. (See, he seemed to suggest, Afghans can be just like us.) Maybe Tillerson, McMaster, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are figuring out other paint-by-numbers games for keeping Trump in their lane on other matters, too.

But perhaps the most disturbing aspect of NBC’s story is what it reveals about Trump’s attitude toward military force. His idolatry of military officers is well-known, but less noted is his idolatry of big guns for their own sake.

He just wants bigger, shinier, costlier. He wants military parades as a show of strength. He told his aides he wanted 32,000 nuclear weapons because that was the largest number of nuclear weapons that a president ever had, and he wasn’t going to be outgunned by any other president. Forget about how the budget should be allocated, what America’s role in the world should be, or why on earth we need to build tens of thousands of nuclear weapons again. (U.S. Strategic Command officers already have a hard time explaining, when pressed, why they even need the 4,000 nukes they have.) Those things, in his mind, aren’t important.

Adult daycare center indeed.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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