As President Donald Trump continues his nuclear policy review process, the question is, will the country’s arsenal be ready to go at the end of this decade?
That depends on a number of factors, including whether Congress votes to approve the $1.9 trillion bill the administration has proposed, which Congress has not.
Trump is seeking a total of 14 nuclear weapons by 2025.
With Congress still debating the bill, the administration is expected to propose a total capacity of 16 nuclear weapons in 2025.
“It’s pretty hard to say,” said Michael Orenstein, a nuclear expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California.
“I think it’s likely we will go to 16 by the time he’s finished the review, which would be in 2025.”
The president has suggested that if Congress does not approve the bill in the first week of September, the U.S. will begin its nuclear weapons program on schedule and begin delivering weapons in 2018.
“This will be a good time to build the capability,” Trump told a crowd of about 10,000 people in Iowa last month.
The White House is hoping to have the nuclear capabilities to defend the country and its allies from a new threat from the Islamic State group, which has killed dozens of U.N. workers and civilians in attacks that have spread to more than 60 countries in the Middle East.
But it is unclear how many of the nation’s allies would want the United States to go nuclear, especially if it meant that they would have to rely on China or Russia to guarantee their own security.
A nuclear arsenal is a huge undertaking, said Thomas Bearden, an expert at Southwestern State University in Phoenix, Arizona.
“If you have a lot of people who are going to be in a situation where they have to make decisions in a vacuum, it becomes much harder to make a rational decision,” he said.
“So if you’re looking at this from the standpoint of, ‘How many warheads does the United Kingdom have in the country?’ that’s a very difficult question.”
Trump has promised to “break up the big banks” to prevent future crises, a reference to his decision to end financial regulation.
In a July speech, Trump pledged to cut off all foreign bank accounts, a policy that has already caused a number to shut down.
“We are going after big banks.
We are going, if we’re going to go after them, that we’re not going to have to pay the fines,” Trump said.
The United States has been trying to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons for several years.
In May, Trump announced the U