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What Kind Of Nukes Do Trump Plan To Use In 2017?
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Earlier this year, it became blatantly obvious that President-elect Donald Trump had no idea what the nuclear triad was. Earlier this afternoon, Donald Trump exposed himself once more as a know-nothing when it comes to nuclear weapons. Here, in short, is why it’s blatantly obvious why he has no idea what he’s talking about.
As we noted last time, when it became blatantly obvious that Trump had never heard the term “nuclear triad” before, here’s a quick an easy explanation:

For those who, like Trump, have no idea what the nuclear triad is, that’s okay, we still love you, as you are not running for president. It refers to the American military doctrine of having land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-based ballistic missiles, and air-dropped bombs, all tipped with nuclear warheads. In an atomic shootout, all three fulfill different strategic and tactical uses based on whatever situation is at hand.
But today, Trump decided to Tweet, as he likes to do. And boy, was it a Tweet:

"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes"
But we should explain why this is just as dumb as saying “I have ten bullets to kill myself, surely I will need more.” Beyond the fact that we have no idea what “comes to its senses” means, and that this is an enormous strategic shift away from more than 40 years of strategic nuclear arms reduction treaties dating back to the first, SALT I, in 1972.
The Warheads

The United States currently maintains a stockpile of 4,571 nuclear warheads, according to the Federation of American Scientists. Of those nukes, 1,367 of those are considered “strategic,” or pretty much capable of demolishing an entire city, and are already mounted atop various nuclear missiles, standing at the ready for nuclear bombers, and are primed to be launched at a moment’s notice of impending planetary doom, according to the United States Department of State.

And here’s what those weapons look like.
The W76

The United States produced roughly 3,250 W76 thermonuclear warheads between 1978 and 1987, and it is thought to remain the most numerous warhead in American service. With an estimated yield of 100 kilotons, or the equivalent of 200,000,000 pounds of TNT, one single warhead contains approximately five times the raw destructive power of the nuke that destroyed the Japanese city of Nagasaki at the end of World War II. That is considered to be on the smaller end of the American strategic nuclear stockpile.

The United States has at least 2,000 total W76 warheads, as that was the number approved for the W76 refurbishment and upgrade program approved by President George W. Bush.

Detonated all at once, they would explode with the force equivalent to four hundred billion pounds of TNT.

We do not need more of these.
The W88

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In 1999, the director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Harold M. Agnew, described the W88 as “the most advanced U.S. nuclear warhead” in a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal. He also described it as “delicate and neat,” which must be some sort of physicist joke.

One W88 warhead (of which the U.S. is estimated to possess almost 400) is capable of exploding with a force of 475 kilotons. One missile can fit 12 of these warheads. One missile can therefore bring a rain of hellfire packing a 5,700 kiloton punch onto one city-sized spot of Earth.

That is the equivalent of more than 316 Hiroshima-sized explosions, simultaneously.

We do not need more of these.
The W78

The W78, like the W76 and W88, is designed to be deployed on ballistic missiles. With a little over 1,000 produced starting in the late 1970s, the W78 bears an explosive yield of 335 kilotons. Only 600 W78s remain, the FAS estimates, with 250 currently deployed.

Let’s be thankful to strategic arms reduction treaties signed by the United States and Russia for that for the reduced number.. But Donald Trump thinks we need more.

We do not need more of these.
The W87

The W87, deployed atop missiles one at a time, has a yield estimated at 300 kilotons by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

I can tell you right now, we do not need more of these.

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