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No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons

Trump and the nuclear 'football'

I would argue no. It would be overkill and could, as mentioned above, trigger a nuclear attack from China on the US. The president would have the right and duty, if convinced that an attack on the US was imminent (and that means imminent, not possible in a month or two or a year down the road), to destroy the threat, but the US has that capability without relying on nuclear weapons. Missiles may be dangerous weapons and hard to knock down once launched, but on the ground they are delicate machines, easily disabled or destroyed. A president has the authority to order such an action without going nuclear. (In fact, unlike the US Iraq invasion or Libyan invasion or this country’s current military action in Syria – al violations of international law -- such an attack would be legal under the terms of the UN Charter, which permits the initiation of a war if a country feels an attack on itself is imminent.)

I should note here that while Trump and the majority of the US media have been portraying North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, as a crazy person who might commit national suicide by lobbing a missile or two at the US, or at the US military base on Guam, to prove some insane point, experts who know North Korea and understand its history say Kim is not crazy at all, and has no intention or desire to destroy his country and himself. Rather, he has recognized that nuclear nations don’t get invaded by the US, and sees having a demonstrably credible nuclear weapon and delivery system as a way to finally have his country recognized and to force the US to finally agree to negotiate a formal end to the Korean War.

As to the second possible situation: consider a hot, non-nuclear war that is perhaps going badly for the US (think Vietnam or Afghanistan). Do we want a president, including this president, to have the power to order the use of even so-called “battlefield” nuclear weapons to turn the tide? Imagine several possible scenarios: war with a non-nuclear nation, war with a small nation that might have a nuke or three, and war against a major nuclear power like Russia or China:

* A hot war with a non-nuclear power — like Syria, Venezuela or maybe Mexico (all places Trump has talked about sending in troops). Turning to the use of nukes in such conflicts would be a disaster internationally, opening the door to casual use of nukes in all future conflicts and a scramble by countless countries to obtain them. So that should simply be outlawed: no nuclear weapons to be used against non-nuclear nations. Period.



story | by Dr. Radut