BBC wrongly claims US obviously “has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal”

Reports and comments on Donald’s Trump’s renewed “tweet storms” after the New Year holidays are as woefully uninformed and emotional as in 2017.

The President tweeted that

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

The BBC then claimed that

Mr Trump’s latest comment states the obvious: any US president has immediate access to the nuclear codes and the US has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal.

Trump to Kim: My nuclear button is ‘bigger and more powerful’, 3 January 2018

The US does not have the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal.

That distinction belongs to Russia, as this article shows – Russia has 7,000 nuclear warheads, the US 6,800.

Yet again, a journalist criticising Trump fires from hip without even bothering to check the facts.

Needless to say, the BBC report has no place for an analysis of the world’s nuclear arsenals, let alone of nuclear strategy, but its 1980s series Yes, Prime Minister! satirised the nuclear button/trigger and the bluff, double bluff and triple bluff etc. involved in the use of nuclear weapons:

Sir Humphrey: With Trident we could obliterate the whole of Eastern Europe!

Hacker: I don’t want to obliterate the whole of Eastern Europe!
Sir Humphrey: It’s a deterrent.
Hacker: It’s a bluff. I probably wouldn’t use it.
Sir Humphrey: Yes, but they don’t know that you probably wouldn’t.
Hacker: They probably do.
Sir Humphrey: Yes, they probably know that you probably wouldn’t. But they can’t certainly know.
Hacker: They probably certainly know that I probably wouldn’t.
Sir Humphrey: Yes, but even though they probably certainly know that you probably wouldn’t, they don’t certainly know that, although you probably wouldn’t, there is no probability that you certainly would!


An “updated” version of the BBC article and “analysis” underwent a considerable rewrite – and the incorrect statement removed!


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