Trump calls for U.S. to expand its nuclear capability

President-elect tweets a call for the United States to "greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability".

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday called for the United States to "greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability" until the rest of the world "comes to its senses" regarding nuclear weapons, The Associated Press reports.

Trump made the statement on Twitter and did not expand on the actions he wants the U.S. to take on the matter.

The background for the statement is unclear, but it did come hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the country to reinforce its military nuclear potential.

In a speech that recapped military activities in 2016, Putin said the army's preparedness has "considerably increased" and called for continued improvement that would ensure it can "neutralize any military threat".

"We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems," Putin was quoted by AFP as having said.

"We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country," added the Russian president.

He said Russia's military had successfully demonstrated its capabilities in Syria, showcased its technology to potential arms buyers and helped the Syrian army make considerable advances.

"The Syrian army received considerable support, thanks to which it carried out several successful operations against militants," he added.

"The effective use of Russian weapons in Syria opens new possibilities for military-technical cooperation. We must take maximum advantage of this. We know there is interest in modern Russian weapons from foreign partners," said Putin.

It is unknown if Trump’s statement was related to Putin’s call and there are no indications at the present time that it was.

Trump's transition website says he "recognizes the uniquely catastrophic threats posed by nuclear weapons and cyberattacks," adding that he will modernize the nuclear arsenal "to ensure it continues to be an effective deterrent", noted AP.