The world was briefly taken aback by the Trump Administration's ambitious proposal to eliminate all nuclear weapons since it had up until this point associated the US leader and his team with international aggression and the military-industrial complex. It was totally unexpected that the US would make such a suggestion in the first place and many people are scratching their heads trying to figure out what it means and why Washington would ever want to do such a thing, seeing as how this has turned a lot of people's views about the country and its controversial leader upside-down.
On the surface, there's nothing that anyone could disagree with in principle about the need to eliminate these dangerous weapons, but upon further thought, it becomes practically impossible to implement in practice due to the security dilemma between all Great Powers, therefore begging the question of why Trump would make his proposal to begin with.
The cynics who suspect a strategic trap will probably be vindicated because it's very likely that the US knows that this initiative is doomed to fail, but that might actually be the point. The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiated between the US and Russia during the Obama era is slated to expire in 2021, and there are reports that the Trump Administration isn't interested in renewing it.
Instead, it's supposedly putting all of its energy into pushing its nuclear weapons proposal, but the seemingly inevitable failure of this utopian initiative could provide Washington with the pretext that it might be looking for to not renew this treaty and therefore double down on the military-industrial complex and especially its nuclear and space weapons component after portraying such a move as "logical" after it "negotiated in good faith" but was "rejected" by its "aggressive" Russian and Chinese rivals. That scenario would escalate the ongoing New Cold War with both of them and be disastrous for global stability.
Still, it's not exactly far-fetched because the US -- especially under Trump -- doesn't believe in disarming itself to the strategic benefit of its many competitors as doing so would almost immediately lead to the end of America's unipolar hegemony and consequently place the resources upon which its economy depends under the control of possibly hostile powers.
Simply put, it would be suicidal for the US to voluntarily give up its nuclear capabilities, though the caveat is that it could do so in theory only if it already had weapons at its disposal that could more than compensate for the ones that it would be giving up, which might eventually be the case if it perfects its rumored space-based military capabilities.
In fact, that category of weapons might even be much more effective than nuclear ones because they wouldn't have the disastrous aftereffect of radioactive fallout and could conceivably be launched against any target anywhere in the world at a moment's notice from above instead of running the risk of a potential interception if they were fired from Earth.
One unlikely scenario that nevertheless can't be ruled out is that the US might one day achieve such an unparalleled mastery of space-based weapons that it could simultaneously take out all of its rivals' Earth-based nuclear weapons before they ever knew what hit them if advanced satellite sensors were able to detect each and every one of them (including submarine-based ones traversing the oceans).
Such a development might very well prove to be impossible or at the very least be decades away from happening, but it's one of the scenarios that bothers America's Russian and Chinese rivals the most about the US' much-touted "Space Force". They know that the US' dominance of outer space would eventually make them powerless to compete and could compromise the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that has hitherto prevented any nuclear power from using these weapons since World War II.
Reverting back to the present-day reality, it therefore appears very likely that Trump's ambitious nuclear weapons proposal is a strategic trap designed to fail from the get-go so that the US can then justify its space-based military programs on the pretext that they're supposedly necessary for countering its rivals' nuclear capabilities after they refused Washington's olive branch to collectively disarm.
The failure of this initiative could then lead to the US deciding not to renew the New START or negotiate another agreement with Russia given the prevailing trend of America proposing multilateral deals instead that importantly include its main Chinese competitor. The US knows that China would never agree to such a framework because of the extant asymmetry between their two militaries that would make this an extremely disadvantageous deal for Beijing, hence why there's every reason to suspect that an ulterior motive lies behind America's latest nuclear weapons proposal.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.