Donald Trump’s offhand suggestion that the United States should, “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” has got a lot of people in a blind panic, causing a lot of flashbacks to the nuclear war anxiety ridden 1980s. Bizarrely, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News named Will Bunch claims that the late, great Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave because of Trump’s tweet.

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Bunch has written a book about Reagan, so one would think he knew what he was talking about. However, he seems to have forgotten that the Gipper was swept into office along with renewed fears that he was going to start a thermonuclear war because of his bellicose attitude toward the Soviet Union. Never mind that Trump is being criticized for being too nice toward Russia and its murderous leader Vladimir Putin.

In fact, the nuclear threat in the 21st Century is not the apocalyptic thermonuclear exchange between the superpowers as depicted in films such as “The Day After” and “Testament.” Rather nukes are more likely to be fired in anger by a rogue country such as North Korea or Iran, the latter of which is diligently developing a nuclear arsenal despite the Munich-style nuclear deal.

The other possibility is an ISIS operative, perhaps disguised as a refugee, sneaking a suitcase nuke into a major city and setting off the mother of all IEDs.

Trump, in fact, knows what he is doing. One of the perquisites for a nuclear deterrent is the knowledge that a country’s nuclear arsenal is reliable, something that the neglect and unilateral reductions during the Obama years has thrown into doubt. Trump is also interested in expanding missile defense, including another throwback to the 1980s, space-based weapons.

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The problem of stopping a few missiles from a rogue state is infinitely less complicated than a full borne bombardment from Russia. Of course, the presence of lasers and kill vehicles in the heavens would also give Moscow and Beijing pause, a good thing.

As for nuclear terrorism, Trump’s proposals to clamp down on illegal immigration and destroy ISIS should address that problem neatly.

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