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There’s a terrifying article on the Foreign Affairs site this month. In The Vanishing Nuclear Taboo? How Disarmament Fell Apart, Nina Tannenwald recounts the depressing story of how we went from a push toward total nuclear disarmament under Obama, to a rush to a new generation of ever more destructive nuclear weapons.
Who is to blame for that? Yes, Trump, but also a host of supporting characters. Tannenwald notes, “For all his nuclear one-upmanship, Trump did not create the current crisis in disarmament and nonproliferation; he merely exacerbated trends that were already under way. Before Trump took office, rising geopolitical tensions, a resurgent Russia, arms modernization, and a hawkish Republican Congress hostile to international law and agreements had all conspired to impede further weapons reductions. Facing a tidal wave of opposition, Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world got swept away.”
In short, the same powers that give us Trump–Russia and a Republican Congress–have given us this horrific situation as well.
When all is done and said, the GOP is going to have a great many things to atone for — perhaps including the first use of nuclear weapons in war since 1945.