Seventy-five years ago, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 Japanese and injuring another 100,000. The great fires that raged in each city consumed many of the bodies. If ever there was a visceral force for promoting a world free of nuclear arms, it should be the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In view of Donald Trump’s ignorance and indifference, it is no surprise that the White House made no mention on August 6th and August 9th of these horrific events. Trump has been too busy scrapping many of the arms control and disarmament treaties that it inherited from previous administrations. Trump made it clear in the 2016 presidential debates that he had no understanding of the central issues of the nuclear arms race, including the nuclear triad. When he couldn’t answer a question on nuclear verification, Trump typically bluffed that “it would take me an hour and a half to learn everything there is to know about missiles. I think I know most of it anyway.”
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CIA Creates a Mission Center to Counter China
You have to wonder what in the world Burns’ mediocre predecessors (John Brennan and Mike Pompeo) were thinking in creating mission centers regarding Iran and North Korea which represented little threat to the United States. But my second reaction is less facetious and more serious: why is the United States—its president, its politicians, its pundits—hell-bent on creating a Cold War environment and arms race with China? Burns told his work force last week that China is “our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry.”