FROM Michaela Dodge
The US is preparing for nuclear war As a candidate, President Trump asked, "If we don't use nuclear weapons, why do we have them?" "Modernization" began with Barack Obama. Now, it's more intense than at any time since the Cold War, which ended when Ronald Reagan and Michael Gorbachev agreed to downsize their arsenals. India, Pakistan — even North Korea — have programs for nuclear weapons, the US is buying new ones — and B-52s may go back on 24-hour alert. We hear about the benefits of the new strategy and the risks. Is it required by new realities, or a return to "nuclear madness?"
Thinking about the "Unthinkable": the Prospect of Nuclear War It's been 70 years since the US became the first nation to drop an atomic bomb. So far, it's the only one. But how long will that last? Today there are some 16,000 nuclear weapons in nine countries, and they're many times more powerful than those used against Japan. Despite arms reduction agreements, the US and Russia still have massive arsenals, and now both countries are “modernizing” their stockpiles — ostensibly for defensive purposes. But each side suspects the other of thinking offense -- as memories the more than 100,000 people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki fade into the past.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?