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No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons

Trump and the nuclear 'football'

* A war with a smaller country that has a few nukes. Here we can just use North Korea as the example. Since the country has nuclear bombs and missiles that can deliver them, at least hitting South Korea, Japan and Guam, and perhaps even parts of the United States, it seems unlikely that the US would invade without having a plan to neutralize those weapons and delivery systems. Such an invasion should it happen, clearly should be first approved by the Senate with a declaration of war, if only to prove the seriousness of the intent, as that public process would give North Korea a chance to sue for peace and begin serious negotiations. Furthermore, the president should not be able to order such an attack on his own for the reason mentioned earlier — China’s defense treaty with North Korea, which obliges it to defend Korea from invasion — a factor that Senators would certainly want to consider in their debate over a war resolution. And that brings us to the third scenario…

* A war with another major nuclear power. The mere fact that two nations with large nuclear arsenals were to find themselves in a border conflict of some kind or confronting some major incident such as the downing of one country’s jet by the other’s should not automatically mean a quantum jump to nuclear Armageddon, though that jump could obviously happen very quickly. The likelihood is that both sides, whether Russia and the US or China and the US, or perhaps all three countries, would be seeking desperately to avoid escalation to a nuclear exchange, which would destroy not just the warring parties, but the entire earth. The last thing we’d want in such a situation is for a hot-head president to just order the use of nukes, whether “battlefield” ones or an all-out nuclear attack against the other side, especially because both sides would be in hair-trigger retaliation mode. Far better to have the Senate in session debating the use of nuclear weapons, which could help stress the seriousness of the situation, which would hopefully lead to a cease-fire and negotiations to end the conflict. The alternative would be too awful to contemplate for both sides.

So clearly then, Sen. Corker and his Senate Foreign Relations Committee should come to the conclusion that no president should not have the power to launch nuclear weapons against anyone, except in retaliation against a nuclear attack.

Frankly though, I think that while, as long as we have nuclear weapons, it may be necessary to be able to credibly threaten any nuclear attacker with an equally devastating counter-attack in order to prevent one, once such an attack were to be launched anyhow, given that the result of such a double whammy on the biosphere of the earth would likely be the end of civilization, possibly the end of the human race, and conceivably the end to virtually all life on earth, the nobler decision would be for the US to accept annihilation and to nobly decline to retaliate. Such a startling decision by a country about to be wiped off the face of the earth would offer any survivors of the attack, including the people of the attacking nation, a new model of humankind: one that knows that peace, and not war, is the answer.

Talk about that admonition by Jesus to "turn the other cheek!" What better legacy could a nation wish for itself?



story | by Dr. Radut