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Thread: Trump's new Presidency

  1. #11

    'Things should go well': top Trump aide reassures Canada about US trade ties

    Stephen Schwarzman, who is expected to head the US president’s business advisory council, addresses Canadian concerns after meeting Trudeau in Calgary

    Justin Trudeau has agreed to meet Donald Trump soon, but no date has been set. Photograph: Chris Wattie/Reuters

    Ashifa Kassam in Toronto

    Tuesday 24 January 2017 10.07 AEDT
    First published on Tuesday 24 January 2017 08.28 AEDT

    A senior business adviser to Donald Trump has told Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government that Canada has little reason to worry about the president’s push to renegotiate Nafta, as Canada prepares for what could be a tumultuous overhaul of its relationship with the US.

    On Monday, Trump’s senior business adviser said Canada had little cause for concern. “Canada finds itself, frankly, in a really very special status,” said Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive officer of investment firm Blackstone Group LP. “Things should go well for Canada in terms of any discussions with the United States.”

    Schwarzman, who has been nominated to head Trump’s business advisory council, was speaking in Calgary, after privately meeting with Trudeau and speaking to his cabinet. “I think trade between the US and Canada is really very much in balance and is a model for the way that trade relations should be … So I think Canada is very well positioned for any discussions with the United States,” he told reporters.

    Trudeau and his cabinet are in Calgary for a two-day retreat, much of which will focus on how Donald Trump’s presidency will affect longstanding Canada-US cooperation on issues that range from trade to border security and intelligence.

    On Monday, Reuters reported that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner would travel to Calgary to meet Trudeau and his cabinet, describing the visit as a sign of the developing ties between Trudeau’s government and those in Trump’s inner circle. Hours later, a senior Canadian official said the trip had been scrapped after plans fell through.

    Canada will probably be one of the first countries in the world to experience how Trump’s blistering rhetoric on the campaign trail will match the actions of his presidency. Throughout the campaign Trump routinely disparaged Nafta, describing it as the “worst deal in history”.

    Days into his presidency, Trump signalled that talks on the decades-old trade agreement would be a priority. “We will be starting negotiations having to do with Nafta,” Trump told reporters on Sunday. “We are going to start renegotiating on Nafta, on immigration and on security at the border.”

    Inherent within the talks are big risks for Canada: three-quarters of its exports went to the US last year, while nearly 400,000 people a day cross the shared border. In this country of some 36 million people, roughly 2.5 million Canadian jobs are dependent on US trade.

    David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the US, said preliminary discussions with Trump’s transition team have suggested that reforms will be aimed at countries such as Mexico and China, both of which have large trade deficits with the US. “I don’t think Canada is the focus at all,” MacNaughton told reporters on Sunday. “What we’ve got to worry about is that we’re collateral damage.”

    While Trudeau and Trump have agreed to meet soon, no date has been set. In the meantime the Canadian government has sought to highlight how the US benefits from its trade relationship with Canada, pointing to the fact that Canada is the top export destination for 35 states and that nearly 9 million US jobs depend on trade and investment from Canada.

    MacNaughton suggested that Canada is weighing whether to focus on bilateral talks with the US, a strategy that would leave Mexico to bear the brunt of Trump’s protectionist measures. “We will cooperate on trilateral matters when it’s in our interests, and we’ll be looking to do things that are in our interests bilaterally. Some of them may be within Nafta, some may not be,” said MacNaughton, declining to give more details.

  2. #12

    The TPP was never that good for jobs, never that good for growth

    Peter Martin

    If the Trans-Pacific Partnership was really as good for jobs and growth as Malcolm Turnbull says it was, he would be able to point to a study saying so.

    He might have even commissioned one. Instead, despite the Productivity Commission practically begging for the role, his government has been resolute in its determination not to subject the 12-nation treaty that Donald Trump just dumped to independent analysis.

    Trade Minister Steve Ciobo isn't giving up on the trans pacific partnership despite US President Donald Trump planning to withdraw from the global trade deal.

    An earlier analysis of three landmark trade agreements that the government did commission found that, combined, the Japan, Korea and China agreements were set to create a total of 5434 extra jobs by 2035.

    That's 5434 extra jobs after 20 years. According to the Bureau of Statistics, employment is growing at a trend rate of 8200 per month, meaning the extra jobs will amount to less than a month's worth, after 20 years.

    The government-commissioned study found that, combined, the agreements would boost exports 0.5 to 1.5 per cent while boosting imports 2.5 per cent, which means they would send Australia's trade balance backwards.

    In the absence of an Australian analysis of the agreement Turnbull insists would have produced jobs and growth, one by World Bank found that 15 years on, it would have bolstered Australia's economy just 0.7 per cent, which amounts to 0.05 per cent per year, somewhat less than measurement error.

    It's easy to conclude Turnbull is talking up the TPP because he has not much else to talk up.

    In any event, it's dead. Its rules say it can only come into force if it is ratified by members accounting for 85 per cent of its combined gross domestic product, which means it can only come into force if it is ratified by the United States, something President Trump has ruled out.

    Part of the problem with it, and part of the problem with reviving something like it without the United States, is that it's so darn complicated. That's because in the assessment of James Pearson, head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, "so-called free trade agreements never seek free trade".

    Much of the TPP dealt with things such as copyright terms, patent protection for drugs, and so-called investor-state dispute settlement procedures that would have allowed foreign corporations to sue sovereign governments. It took a decade to negotiate.

    Pearson says if free trade agreements genuinely sought free trade "they would be simple, stating that the parties agree there shall be no restrictions on trade, investment or movement of people between the two countries, full stop".

    When even the potential beneficiaries are questioning the value of ever more complex trade agreements, it could be time to take stock.
    Last edited by buglerbilly; 25-01-17 at 02:47 AM.

  3. #13

    Budget Nominee Mulvaney Will Recommend Trump End War-Account Abuse

    By: Joe Gould, January 24, 2017

    WASHINGTON — President Trump’s nominee to become the nation’s budget director, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., said he will press the president to stop skirting budget caps by using the war budget.

    Appearing before the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday, Mulvaney signaled he would continue to fight abuses of the overseas contingency operations (OCO) account.

    Over the last two years, Mulvaney and lawmakers of both parties have partnered on bills to stop using OCO money for base-budget activities. He has also*opposed increases in defense spending that are not accompanied by cuts to non-defense spending,

    “I will look forward to explaining to the president why I think it’s not a good way to spend taxpayer dollars,” Mulvaney said in an exchange with Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., an ally on the issue.

    In an exchange with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Mulvaney agreed the use of OCO to solve budget problems has been “dishonest.” “That’s just the word I was going to use,” Mulvaney said.

    Mulvaney also told Corker he believed the Pentagon was functioning well on the goal of defending the country, but on acquisitions programs he said: “I look forward to doing more investigation and possibly reforming there, when possible.”

    When Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, urged Mulvaney to get a long-delayed Pentagon audit accomplished or “clean house in the chief financial office,” Mulvaney agreed.

    Mulvaney said he was pleased by talks with Defense Secretary James Mattis, “who I believe shares, your, my and apparently the president’s commitment to drive efficiencies into operations the Defense Department."

    The prospect of Mulvaney as budget director has alarmed some some congressional defense hawks, but one of them — fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Mulvaney will hew to the president’s defense buildup plans.

    “To those on the defense side, he will follow the call of the president to increase defense spending,” Graham said.

  4. #14

    McCain Hits Trump Budget Office Pick Mulvaney on Defense

    By: Joe Gould, January 24, 2017

    WASHINGTON — Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain ripped President Trump’s fiscally conservative nominee to become the nation’s budget director as an “impediment” to funding the military.

    McCain angrily confronted Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., over a series of votes he made against military spending and to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Europe.

    “I am deeply concerned about your lack of support for our military and your continued votes of withdrawals when we see a world on fire, withdrawing troops from Europe,” McCain said during Mulvaney’s hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    “What were you thinking, honestly, when you voted for immediate withdraw of all US troops from Afghanistan?”

    The hostility foreshadows an expected conflict between Mulvaney at the Office of Management and budget and congressional defense hawks. McCain has proposed $640 billion top-line for the 2018 defense budget, which House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, backs as well.

    Mulvaney, 49, is a spending hard-liner elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010. He has consistently rejected stop-gap spending resolutions and opposed the government’s need to increase its statutory borrowing limits to avoid default.

    Lawmakers are wary of whether Mulvaney will support Trump’s aversion to entitlement cuts and his pledge to buildup the military. Mulvaney said he and Trump are “in lock-step” on defense.

    “Maybe you don’t take it with the seriousness that it deserves,” McCain said to Mulvaney about defense spending. “It’s clear from your record that you’ve been an impediment to that.”

    In one exchange, with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Mulvaney affirmed his deficit hawkishness is linked to national security concerns: “History has shown us that great nations have failed from within when they can’t manage their finances,” he said.

    Amid McCain’ questions and barbs, Mulvaney offered reassurances that he voted against the Budget Control Act, that government’s top priority is national defense, and that — while he had supported a past government shutdown — “will not be recommending the president govern by crisis.”

    Mulvaney supports matching defense increases with non-defense cuts, but he offered a vague answer about what to do if there were no non-defense cuts: “I would lay out to the president what the implications would be,” he said.

    As to his vote to immediately withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, he said he was moved after a constituent who served in Vietnam asked him, through tears, to send his son home from the war.

    “I was doing the best I could to represent the people of South Carolina,” Mulvaney said.

    “Don't you know where 9/11 came from,” McCain replied. “I know one thing about South Carolina: A majority of them don’t support a full withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan.”

    Email: jgould@defensenews.com

    Twitter: @reporterjoe

  5. #15

    Klotz Stays as NNSA Director, But Deputy Is Out

    By: Aaron Mehta, January 24, 2017

    WASHINGTON – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) head Frank Klotz will be staying for the foreseeable future, but deputy director Madelyn Creedon is no longer with the agency.

    The decision to keep Klotz in place followed two weeks of concerns from the nuclear community that he might be forced out by the Trump administration with no replacement in sight.

    The NNSA is a semi-autonomous department within the Department of Energy. While the Defense Department manages the delivery systems of the nuclear force — ships, planes and missiles — NNSA has oversight over the development, maintenance and disposal of nuclear warheads.

    On January 9, Gizmodo reported that Klotz and Creedon had been told to clean out their desks, something an NNSA official almost immediately denied to Defense News. On January 17, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M, sent the incoming administration a letter warning of the danger of leaving the NNSA spot open, which raised attention to the issue.

    But the biggest moment came two days later, when Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, told lawmakers at his Senate confirmation hearing that he hoped to keep Klotz in place.

    “I have sat down with the general [Klotz] and had a good conversation with him, and have sent the message that it would certainly be my desire to have that continuity,” Perry said. “It is in the president-elect's office now and hopefully we will see that type of continuity in those very important places."

    Klotz is the fourth NNSA head in the agency’s 17-year existence, and in that limited precedent, the nuclear head has been kept on by the incoming administrations. John Gordon, the first NNSA head, was appointed by Bill Clinton but served for two years under George W. Bush, while Tom D'Agostino was appointed by Bush but continued to serve for the first six years of the Obama administration.

    Analysts in the non-proliferation community, which has been largely positive on Klotz’s tenure, reacted with relief to the news.

    Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association said that while there would have been professional staff keeping NNSA going, continuity of leadership at NNSA is important. “Given the slow pace at which the Trump administration has been filling senior, sub cabinet level positions and the fact that Rick Perry is a total neophyte on nuclear issues, continuity was the right and smart choice,” he said.

    Adds Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, “It was absurd that they waited to the last minute to make such an obvious decision, but better late than never. NNSA is a really tough job. The labs are so important to their states that the Administrator has to do a very careful balancing act in terms of keeping members of Congress happy.”

  6. #16
    Supreme Overlord ARH v.4.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    The fifth circle of hell


    The darkest hour of Humanity is upon us. The world
    shall meet it's end and we shall be submerged into a
    new dark age. Repent your sins, for the apocalypse,
    and the end, is extremely f@#king nigh!

  7. #17

    Trump Defense Plan Seen As Chance To Signal U.S. Strength

    Jan 24, 2017

    James Drew | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

    B-2 Spirit: Northrop Grumman

    The Trump administration’s first long-range defense spending plan covering fiscal years 2018-22 is a “critical opportunity” to signal U.S. strength and resolve as well as reassure wary allies, members of three leading Washington think tanks told the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on Jan. 24.

    President Donald Trump was elected on a platform that included rebuilding the U.S. military and repealing arbitrary spending limits enforced by the Budget Control Act of 2011, and many defense analysts in Washington and members of Congress are anticipating a ramp-up in military spending as part of Trump’s forthcoming fiscal 2018 budget request for more troops and equipment.

    Trump’s national security pledges include 1,200 total combat-ready fighter aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and 350 surface ships for the U.S. Navy, plus a “state-of-the-art” missile system to thwart attacks by Iran and North Korea. He also wants to raise the U.S. Army’s active end strength to 540,000 personnel and grow the U.S. Marine Corps to 36 battalions.

    Dakota Wood, senior research fellow for defense programs at the Heritage Foundation, says the next budget should “put our potential adversaries on notice” that the U.S. will operate from a position of strength while also standing by its allies.

    But he cautioned against potential imbalances that could occur by shooting for specific numbers, such as enlisting too many people supported by too few jets, ships and armored vehicles, or vice versa.

    “Rebuilding a force, especially one that has been depleted over so many years, must be done in a balanced way,” Wood says.

    Thomas Mahnken, head of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says both conventional and nuclear forces need to be rebuilt instead of favoring one over the other. The U.S. has historically relied more on strategic nuclear weapons during periods of lower defense spending and spent less on those systems during conventional buildups. But after 15 years of counterinsurgency warfare in the Middle East and recent drawdowns at a time of heightened conflict in Iraq and Syria, both forces need rebuilding, Mahnken says, particularly because Russia and China have gained ground militarily.

    “We are now in a period characterized by the reality of great‐power competition and the increasing possibility of great‐power conflict,” he says. “The ‘wars of the future’ may no longer lie that far in the future.”

    Lawrence Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, expressed concern about spending more on the military without reform. “I don’t believe the DOD has a resource problem. I believe it has a management problem,” he told the committee.

    He says the $620 billion in defense spending authorized for fiscal 2017 is about right. Korb agrees with many of the Obama administration’s actions. They include the “pivot” to the Pacific to contain China’s growing assertiveness; the European Reassurance Initiative to counter Russia and reinforce NATO allies; and the 60-nation coalition assembled to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group.

    Korb supported many of the proposals contained in the Jan. 16 budget white paper of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the SASC chairman. They include revising Lockheed Martin F-35 procurement for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps; investing in smaller, conventionally powered, lower-cost aircraft carriers; capping the Littoral Combat Ship buy and transitioning to a more heavily armed, small surface combatant.

    “I commend Trump for looking at the F-35 contract,” Korb said. “I hope it’s more than just tweets and he really gets involved in dealing with it.”

    Korb backed McCain’s recommendations that the Navy should be allowed to buy fewer F-35Cs for its carrier air wings and instead extend production of the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter and E-18G Growler electronic attack platform. McCain’s proposal for “Rebuilding American Power” recommends buying 20 additional short-takeoff-vertical-landing F-35Bs for the Marine Corps over the next five years to speed up recapitalization of the service’s legacy F/A-18 Hornets, EA-6B Prowlers and AV-8B Harriers.

    At the projected rate of 48 aircraft per year, it will take the Air Force until 2040 to complete its planned purchase of 1,732 F-35As. McCain says the goal is unrealistic and requires re-evaluation, “likely a reduction.” Instead, the service should buy as many F-35As as possible “with an ultimate goal of moving beyond the program as quickly as possible.”

    Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson has been meeting with Trump about the F-35 since he threatened to cancel the program over cost. She expects to close agreement with the government “very soon” for low-rate production Lot 10, under which 90 aircraft will be purchased. Lockheed says the cost per F-35A will drop below $100 million in Lot 10, and the company is also beginning negotiations on Lot 11.

    Korb also told the committee to take a “hard look” at the Air Force’s development of next-generation nuclear cruise and ballistic missiles, which he opposes. He also says Congress must figure out how to pay for any increase in defense spending instead of just racking up more debt.

    McCain says Trump inherits a military that is “underfunded, undersized and unready to meet the diverse and complex array of threats confronting our nation. The combination of rising threats, declining budgets, aging equipment, shrinking forces and high operational tempo produced a military readiness crisis.”

  8. #18

    How Trump Should Handle Russian Nuclear Talks

    By Rebeccah Heinrichs

    on January 25, 2017 at 4:01 AM

    A B-2 launches simulated B-61 nuclear weapon

    If the Trump administration wants to negotiate an arms control treaty with Russia, it must meet several preconditions.

    The Times of London reports that then President-elect Donald Trump signaled he would consider a nuclear arms reduction treaty with the Russians. He was quoted as saying, “For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it. But Russia’s hurting very badly right now because of sanctions, but I think something can happen that a lot of people are gonna benefit.”

    It’s not clear if the President is committed to a nuclear arms treaty, or if he was merely trying to lure the Russians to the negotiating table. It’s also unclear if he meant only Russian nuclear weapons should be “way down and reduced very substantially.”

    It is clear that President Trump, in addition to his pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, think it is wise to look for ways to find agreement with the Russians to cool a relationship that has grown increasingly heated during the Obama years. It is also true that the Russians are always interested in U.S. nuclear reductions — if not Russian nuclear reductions — so it is plausible President Trump is merely demonstrating a willingness to talk.

    But President Trump has also left other clues about the way he will interact with heads of state. He has consistently insisted that he wants “good deals” that will benefit the United States, as opposed to, one can infer, the kind of deals the Obama administration brokered that certainly helped our adversaries but did little or made things worse for the United States. He also wants to assert American leadership and negotiate from a position of strength.

    On U.S. nuclear weapons, he recently stated “the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” Considering the U.S. nuclear deterrent is overdue for modernization, this was a wise position to stake out.

    So, what would the preconditions for a “good deal” for Americans look like? How would the United States, with a potential Secretary of State Tillerson at the helm, negotiate such a treaty from a position of strength and without degrading the credibility of our own aging nuclear deterrent force?

    First, timing is everything. Until the Russians are found to be in compliance with current treaty obligations, the United States should not*open a dialogue about future arms control deals. This is perfectly consistent with goals outlined in the testimony provided by Mr. Tillerson, who repeatedly pointed out that the Obama administration failed to enforce agreements, which had the unintended effect of welcoming further violations. As of now, the Russians are above New START Treaty limits. They must comply with the treaty by its deadline of February 2018 and, while it’s still technically possible, the trends of a Russian nuclear build-up do not build much confidence that they will be.

    Additionally, the New START Treaty has major accounting loopholes that the Russians have taken advantage of. Most egregious is the bomber-counting rules. The treaty counts an entire load of weapons on a nuclear-capable bomber as a single warhead regardless of how many warheads are actually on the bomber.

    Mark Schneider at the National Institute for Public Policy*lays out the problem.

    Indeed, in 2010, Hans Kristensen told The New York Times that the bomber weapon counting rule was “totally nuts” because it “frees up a large pool of warhead spaces under the treaty limit that enable each country to deploy many more warheads than would otherwise be the case…”RIA Novosti, a Russian government news agency, reported, “Under the Treaty, one nuclear warhead will be counted for each deployed heavy bomber which can carry 12-24 missiles or bombs, depending on its type.”

    The 2016 article by Kristensen and Norris cited above states that Russia now has about 2,600 real deployed strategic nuclear warheads. Assuming the Obama administration has not increased the number of nuclear weapons at our heavy bomber bases from the 2011 level, the U.S. probably has about 1,550 deployed missile and bomber strategic nuclear weapons today. This suggests a real Russian advantage of approximately 1,000 deployed warheads—hardly a passing blip.

    The Russians are also in violation of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Until the Russians comply with those arms control treaties, and the loopholes are closed in New START, the United States should remain steadfast in its unwillingness to discuss another arms control treaty. If Moscow won’t follow the current rules, it would be a fool’s errand to assume it would follow more if we made them.

    Second, the United States must do exactly what Mr. Trump said it ought to do, and that is to expand and improve its nuclear arsenal. This does not mean the United States must expand its numbers beyond the treaty limits; rather, it should expand in number within the boundaries of the treaty, because although the Russians are above New START Treaty limits, the United States is below them.

    It should also expand in capability, just as the Russians are expanding the capabilities of their nuclear weapons. Obama Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz recently characterized the difference between how the United States updates its deterrent with the way U.S. adversaries update theirs:*“We refurbished our weapons to make them safer and more reliable. We didn’t ‘modernize.’” Modernization, he said, “is what Russia is doing and China is doing.” Indeed, while U.S. policymakers debate whether or not specific programs like the new B-61 bomber design provides the country with new and improved capabilities that might be “destabilizing,” the Russians are moving forward with increased capabilities without hesitation.

    Because of this, the United States should move forward with the Obama administration’s current nuclear “refurbishment” plans, without delay. The backbone of the land-based leg of the triad is the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the replacement program for the aging Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). GBSD is especially critical because the Minuteman is in such dire condition, and any further delay in funding the replacement program would mean cancellation by atrophy. It takes years to get a new system online, and it’s become a race with the clock. Defense Secretary James Mattis, although seemingly open to talking about the future of the land-based leg of the triad in the past, expressed firm commitment to all three legs of the triad, in particular GBSD, during his confirmation hearing.

    He was, however, much less committed to the new cruise missile, the Long-Range Standoff Missile (LRSO), and said he looked forward to going over the requirements and costs of the program. When the new defense secretary receives his briefings on LRSO he’ll discover it will be critical for stealthily clearing the way for a bomber with great precision and low nuclear yields, and it can be launched from a safe distance. As Gen. Stephen Wilson, then-commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, explained: “There may be air defenses that are just too hard… But with standoff, I can make holes and gaps to allow a penetrating bomber to get in, and then it becomes a matter of balance.” As for affordability, the GBSD and the LRSO combined account for just over 1 percent of the Air Force’s acquisition funding over the next five years (or the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP)).

    Third, the United States must recommit to the missile defense mission and expand its capabilities. Since the Cold War the Russians have tied missile defense to offensive nuclear armaments, and claimed that U.S. defenses negated Russian offensive missiles and, therefore, must be restricted within the context of nuclear arms reductions. Indeed, individuals who take an emotional anti-nuclear weapons stance often cite President Ronald Reagan as one who favored nuclear reduction as the primary means of preventing a nuclear war. What they fail to mention is that President Reagan wanted to take a multi-track approach to ensuring nuclear weapons are not employed, and although reducing nuclear numbers was one facet, expanding defensive capabilities was another. From the start, the United States must take the position that its plans to develop and deploy missile defenses, both in Europe, the Middle East, at home, as well as non-terrestrial components to missile defense, will remain unfettered by Russian objections. Period.

    Moreover, even as President Reagan proclaimed his support for an eventual draw down of nuclear weapons, he initiated a major nuclear modernization program for the United States that included adding thousands of nuclear warheads and various delivery systems to the deterrent force. President Trump’s call to expand and improve the capabilities of the U.S. arsenal would be perfectly Reaganesque.

    So, where does that leave the Russians and the United States on nuclear arms reductions? Due to the way both countries are responding to the New START Treaty, taken with non-strategic, tactical nuclear weapons not covered by the Treaty, the United States is currently at a nuclear disadvantage, and so we do not have a strong nuclear hand to play. That’s the hard truth. The Russians have refused to include tactical, that is, “battle-field” nuclear weapons, in negotiation talks because they are believed to have approximately 10 tactical nuclear weapons for every one of NATOs. The Russians refused to put tactical nuclear weapons on the table during the New START negotiations, and so, more committed to achieving a deal (any deal) than securing a “good deal” the Obama negotiators easily capitulated. The Trump administration must not. Any future nuclear arms reduction treaty with the Russians must include massive cuts in Russian tactical nuclear weapons.

    The new administration should move forward with setting the above preconditions for talks, which will take an enormous amount of diplomatic heavy-lifting and time. But until these conditions are met, the United States will not be negotiating from a position of strength, nor will it be getting a “good deal” for the United States. With this in mind, it would be prudent for the Trump administration to set aside the notion of further nuclear reductions and focus on other security initiatives where there may be common ground with the Russians.

    Rebeccah Heinrich is an expert on missile defense and nuclear weapons affiliated with the Hudson Institute.

  9. #19

    Trump Suggests an Import Tax Can Pay for Wall on Mexico Border

    By MICHAEL D. SHEARJAN. 26, 2017

    President Trump in his office aboard Air Force One on Thursday.
    Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

    This'll fuck up more than one or two Car and Aerospace company that have factories there................

    PHILADELPHIA — The White House on Thursday endorsed a 20 percent tax on all imports to the United States, an idea congressional Republicans have proposed as part of a broader overhaul of corporate taxation. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told reporters that revenue from the tax would cover the cost of a wall on the United States-Mexico border.

    Some of those revenues, however, are likely to come from American pockets.

    President Trump had previously criticized the proposal as too complicated.

    The proposal, which Mr. Spicer said the president discussed privately with congressional Republicans before giving remarks at a party retreat here, would be a major new economic proposal that could have far-reaching implications for consumers, manufacturers and relations between governments.

    Mr. Trump would need new legislation to enact the proposal.

  10. #20
    Supreme Overlord ARH v.4.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    The fifth circle of hell

    I wonder when Mexico will announce they will stop cooperating with US law enforcement to stop the drug trade into the US...

    The darkest hour of Humanity is upon us. The world
    shall meet it's end and we shall be submerged into a
    new dark age. Repent your sins, for the apocalypse,
    and the end, is extremely f@#king nigh!

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