The US military force that oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal has sparked outrage when it tweeted it was ready to drop something “much, much bigger” than the traditional New Year’s Eve crystal ball in New York and showing a video of an aircraft releasing bombs.
“#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball … if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) said in a later-deleted message on Twitter, hours before the midnight descent of the illuminated ball in Times Square marking the arrival of the new year.
The post encouraged viewers to watch the video to the end, including footage of bombs and missiles being dropped from a B-2 bomber followed by explosions on the ground.
The tweet prompted criticism by many social media users.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you @US_Stratcom, the stoic guardians of several thousand nuclear missiles who definitely don’t think raining death and destruction from above is some kind of joke. pic.twitter.com/4OWcGMtfCj
— Derek Johnson (@derekjGZ) December 31, 2018
Amid the outcry that followed, STRATCOM – whose slogan is “peace is our profession” – then deleted the post and tweeted an apology.
Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values. We apologize. We are dedicated to the security of America & allies.
— US Strategic Command (@US_Stratcom) December 31, 2018
“Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values. We apologise. We are dedicated to the security of America & allies,” it said.