A senior Trump administration official who once called for a “tactical” nuclear strike on Afghanistan now helps to oversee arms control at the State Department, where he will manage Washington’s weapons treaties.
Frank Wuco, formerly of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), was recently made a senior adviser at the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control – which is tasked to address the “threat posed by weapons of mass destruction” – according to a report in the Washington Post.
Wuco’s idea of “arms control” may not be quite what the bureau has in mind, however, apparently preferring to “control” arms straight to their target. In a 2016 radio appearance, when asked why Washington hadn’t simply turned Syria and Iran into “glass,” Wuco casually suggested how he would send a “message” to America’s adversaries given the chance.
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.
President Donald Trump himself has previously mused about “using nuclear” in Afghanistan, but later dismissed the idea, arguing that he would prefer not to “kill 10 million people.”
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It’s unclear exactly when Wuco was transferred from the DHS to his current role at the ACB, but an anonymous State Department official said he had been there at least since August.
Before his time in government, Wuco made his name peddling unorthodox theories in conservative media – once claiming that former CIA director John Brennan had converted to Islam while serving in Saudi Arabia – and is known for other quirks as well. As a private security consultant, he created an alter ego he named “Fuad Wasul,” delivering presentations in character to provide a “first-hand account of what inspires and motivates the jihadist.”
So, does Frank Wuco work at DHS?
Or does Fuad Wasul?
— Kristin (@KGarritySekerci) January 23, 2018
While the State Department’s conception of “arms control” has seldom meant more than ensuring Washington’s nuclear superiority over much of the planet, Wuco’s presence in the bureau can’t bode well for its own stated purpose, managing “threats.”
As the Trump administration zaps one arms control agreement after another – having already undone the INF and ABM treaties, with eyes on New START – Cold War-era protections against nuclear conflict are eroding, and Wuco’s presence does not seem likely to contribute to reversing that trend.
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