Rising Nuclear Tensions in 2018

For decades, American presidents have threatened “first use” of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances, such as in response to the use of biological weapons against the United States. But the new document is the first to expand that to include attempts to destroy wide-reaching infrastructure, like a country’s power grid or communications, that would be most vulnerable to cyberweapons. (NYTimes)

I’m extremely concerned about the direction our country is taking, and the seemingly high and rising nuclear tensions. When you’re surrounded by people who think war is inevitable, war becomes inevitable. There seems to be no other part of society where I believe self-fulfilling prophecies are more true than the war posturing and mongering currently occurring in Washington D.C.

First released to the public by The Huffington Post, a new draft policy from the Trump administration states the policy “realigns our nuclear policy with a realistic assessment of the threats we face today and the uncertainties regarding the future security environment.” Naive as I may be when it comes to world politics, I understand there are people who want to harm the United States. I truly believe, however, there are many more people who have their own problems than hating America.

I disagree with the understanding that the world is generally hostile.

We may disagree on how the Obama administration handled (or didn’t) Russia and Syria (among others), overall the United States operated under the worldview that the place of the United States is to improve the quality of life around the world through positive change. Pundits dismiss this viewpoint as naive. The current administration seems to operate thinking everyone is hostile towards the United States until proven innocent (or agrees to build a Trump hotel.)

The new draft policy operates with the idea that we are headed towards conflict, and we need to be prepared to retaliate in-kind. We need to have a proper national defense. We do not, however, need to share the same dark lens with which Trump and his administration currently seem to view the world.

I don’t disagree there are those who aim to hurt us, to inflict pain, suffering, and even death upon the United States. I do disagree with the notion that the only way to respond to those who aim to hurt us is with threats of more violence. You may think I don’t know better, but we can always try to see the good in people and the world.