Trump Official Who Suggested Nuking Afghanistan Has Senior Role In Arms Control
A Trump administration official who previously trafficked in far-right conspiracy theories during his talk radio days once suggested that the U.S. should have dropped nuclear bombs on Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and now he is a senior adviser at the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.
According to The Washington Post, Frank Wuco initially joined the administration’s Department of Homeland Security. A CNN investigation revealed his conspiracy theories last year, which included “debunked claims that former president Barack Obama was not born in the United States, former CIA director John Brennan converted to Islam, former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. had been a member of the Black Panthers and former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Wuco’s move to the State Department has some arms control advocates concerned due to his apparent lack of suitability for the job.
In 2016, Wuco lamented that the U.S. had not dropped nuclear bombs on Afghanistan following 9/11 when asked why the United States doesn’t turn Syria and Iran “into glass already.”
“I don’t think it’s been our policy really to just start nuking countries,” he said. “I think if we were going to have done that, my preference would have been to have dropped a couple of low-yield tactical nuclear weapons over Afghanistan the day after 9/11 to send a definite message to the world that they had screwed up in a big way.”
“Wuco’s bureau is busy dealing with the aftermath of the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, emerging technologies that could upend long-standing theories on nuclear policy, the strategic threats posed by a militarizing China and the uncertain future of the New START accord,” Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and a former Obama administration official, told The Post. “It cannot afford distractions connected to a senior adviser who once casually mused about nuking Afghanistan.”
But Wuko’s worldview is unlikely to trouble President Donald Trump, whose comments and Twitter feed reveal he holds a similar way of thinking. The president was one of the more prominent voices pushing the birth certificate conspiracy theory, well before he entered the White House, and also “raised the idea of ‘using nuclear’ in Afghanistan, though he dismissed the possibility because ‘I’m not looking to kill 10 million people.’”
The Post said the State Department declined to comment for the story.