strong doubts have been raised over whether the new President is capable of

Strong doubts have been raised over whether the new

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strong doubts have been raised over whether the new President is capable of responsibly handling the incredible power that will be at his fingertips. Moreover, several commentators are already raising concerns that a Trump administration will pursue policies that will aggravate and disappoint his supporters , a situation that could increase the possibility of the US engaging in a ‘diversionary’ war . In order to consider what we can expect from a Trump presidency, as well as noting whom Trump empowers as members of his cabinet and those whom he is aptly summarised by Daniel Deudney, who describes nuclear weapons as ‘intrinsically despotic’ so that they have created ‘nuclear monarchies’ in all nuclear-armed states. Deudney identifies three related reasons for this development: ‘ the speed of nuclear use decisions ; the concentration of nuclear use decision into the hands of one individual ; and the lack of accountability stemming from the inability of affected groups to have their interests represented at the moment of nuclear use’ . Similarly, Elaine Scarry has explained in stark terms in her 2014 book Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing between Democracy and Doom, how the possession of nuclear weapons has converted the US government into ‘a monarchic form of rule that places all defense in the executive branch of government’ leaving the population ‘incapacitated’ . In response to this situation, Scarry argues that the American people must use the Constitution as a tool to dismantle the US nuclear weapons system,
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thereby revitalising democratic participation and control over decision-making. Scarry also outlines the incredible might the president wields, with each of the US’s fourteen nuclear-armed submarines alone carrying ‘enough power to destroy the people of an entire continent’, equivalent to ‘eight times the full- blast power expended by Allied and Axis countries in World War II’. Nuclear specialist Hans Kristensen has described how the US’s strategic nuclear war plan ‘if unleashed in its full capacity’ could ‘ kill hundreds of millions of people, devastate entire nations , and cause climatic effects on a global scale’ . This war plan consists of a ‘family of plans’ that is aimed at ‘six potential adversaries’ whose identities are kept secret. Kristensen understands that they include ‘potentially hostile countries with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons (WMD)’, meaning China , North Korea , Iran , Russia and Syria as well as a terrorist group backed by a state that has conducted a catastrophic WMD attack . The ‘dominant mission’ for US nuclear weapons within these plans is termed counterforce, meaning strikes on ‘military, mostly nuclear, targets and the enemy’s leadership’. Despite these plans, the US’s nuclear arsenal is often described by mainstream commentators as being solely intended to ensure mutual assured destruction (MAD), i.e. as part of the ‘balance of terror’ with Russia, in order to prevent armed conflict between the two nations and to ensure a response in kind to a surprise nuclear attack. However, as Joseph Gerson and John Feffer explain, rather than deterrence just
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  • Summer '20
  • Nuclear weapon

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