Trump’s Trigger Happy Nuclear Finger

World War 3: Risk of nuclear war with ’Trump’s finger on trigger,’ warns expert

DONALD Trump’s decision to pull the US out of a landmark nuclear arms limitation treaty has “definitely” made the world less safe, with diplomats increasingly concerned about his “finger being on the nuclear trigger”, a US-based foreign policy expert has said.

Ciaran McGrath

PUBLISHED: 07:30, Sat, Oct 27, 2018

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DONALD Trump’s decision to pull the US out of a landmark nuclear arms limitation treaty has “definitely” made the world less safe, with diplomats increasingly concerned about his “finger being on the nuclear trigger”, a US-based foreign policy expert has said.

Mr Trump is pulling the US out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a pact signed by then-leaders Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, citing breaches by Vladimir Putin’s regime.

But Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Americas branch of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), an influential think-tank, which has its headquarters in London, said the decision was fraught with risk.

He told Express.co.uk: “There is no mechanism for negotiating a new treaty.

“Parties would have to start over.

“If they did, this time they would surely need to include China, which shows no interest.

“Trump often talks blithely about nuclear weapons.

“I do not think his bluster signals any real intent to use nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the INF treaty with Vladimir Putin’s Russia (Image: GETTY)

His thin skin, disinterest in facts and ego-driven decision-making makes everyone worried about his finger being on the nuclear trigger

Mark Fitzpatrick

“But his thin skin, disinterest in facts and ego-driven decision-making makes everyone worried about his finger being on the nuclear trigger.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said the INF treaty was of “tremendous importance”, because it stopped a missiles arms race in Europe and removed several classes of missiles for the arsenals of the two arsenals: those with ranges between 500km and 5,500km.

He added: “There is no doubt that Russia was violating the INF, by deploying nuclear-armed cruise missile that exceeded the INF limits.
“But this is not the main reason that Trump is pulling out.

“The reason is because the INF does not restrict China’s growing missile development.

The INF treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 (Image: GETTY)

If the US goes ahead with the threat to pull out, it will give carte blanche to Russia to deploy more nuclear-armed missiles aimed at Europe.

“So it will definitely make the world less safe.”

Earlier this week, Mr Fitzpatrick also warned of a possible new Cold War with China, after two warships sailed through the narrow strait which separates the mainland from the disputed island of Taiwan.

He explained: “US-China relations are certainly frosty, with the high-stakes tariff tit for tat and mutual flexing of muscles at sea.

Mr Trump has accused Russia of violating the treaty with cruise missile deployments (Image: GETTY)

“It would be an exaggeration to call it a cold war, though relations are heading in that direction.”

Mr Trump has referred to the use of nuclear weapons on a number of occasions since becoming President in 2016, and on Monday said the US would build up its nuclear arsenal “until people come to their senses”.

Meanwhile Mr Putin, speaking to an audience of international experts in Sochi earlier this week, vowed to destroy anyone who used nuclear weapons on Russia first.

He said: “We have no concept of a preemptive strike.

Clinton warns of danger giving Trump nuclear weapons

“In such a situation, we expect to be struck by nuclear weapons, but we will not use them.

“The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.

“They will simply die because they won’t even have time to repent.”

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