Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Scientific American: In just five minutes an American president could put all of humanity in jeopardy. Most nuclear security experts believe that's how long it would take for as many as 400 land-based nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal to be loosed on enemy targets after an initial "go" order. Ten minutes later a battalion of underwater nukes could join them. That unbridled power is a frightening prospect no matter who is president. Donald Trump, the current occupant of the Oval Office, highlights this point. ... With the exception of the president, every link in the U.S. nuclear decision chain has protections against poor judgments, deliberate misuse or accidental deployment. The "two-person rule," in place since World War II, requires that the actual order to launch be sent to two separate people.

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There is no comparable restraint on the president. He or she can decide to trigger a thermonuclear Armageddon without consulting anyone at all and never has to demonstrate mental fitness. This must change. We need to ensure at least some deliberation before the chief executive can act. And there are ways to do this without weakening our military responses or national security.

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Who Should Have Sole Authority to Launch a Nuclear Attack?

John Henry Ford Tremain.

#1 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2017-08-10 07:52 AM | Reply

Who has had that authority for the last 60 years?

#2 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-08-10 11:27 AM | Reply

The Nixon Work-Around wasn't a terrible idea, but Trump's dementia sheds new light on the situation.

#3 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-08-10 12:07 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Trump's dementia sheds new light on the situation.

#3 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis

You claim he has what you are suffering from.

#4 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-08-10 02:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

4 | POSTED BY SNIPER

You sure told him.

#5 | Posted by Lohocla at 2017-08-10 02:44 PM | Reply | Funny: 3

Trump's mental issues are clear as day.

He should be able to launch nukes without the clearance of say Pence.

#6 | Posted by Tor at 2017-08-10 03:09 PM | Reply

Who had the authority for the last 8 years?

#7 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-08-10 04:40 PM | Reply

#7 | Posted by Sniper

It is the question of his mental fitness for the job that illustrates the issue and makes it a timely conversation. Obama was level headed and much more cool, calm and collected in general if you are looking for the comparison. Trump on the other hand rages absurdities on Twitter all hours of the day and night illustrating just how petty and the complete opposite of level headed, cool, calm and collected he is.

During the cold war it was one thing AND we had the DEW line in case of attack by the USSR. But looking back it is crazy to have so much power in the hands of one person. I don't care who they are. BUT in the event of an attack on the USA, a response would need to be timely. So having the Vice President as the backup makes sense not to mention his/her position over the Senate. A backup would be necessary in the event the one of them is incapacitated. What it would truly do is prevent one person from going "crazy" and hitting the button to start things.

#8 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-08-10 05:24 PM | Reply

This is only an issue because people are concerned that POTUS is an unstable spaz. So much winning.

#9 | Posted by bored at 2017-08-10 05:45 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

SO what voters know this they saw no problem electing Trump to make this decision.

Should the president also have the right to pass a tax hike/ Should the president also have the right to pass Obamacare. You like it when you get what you want.

#10 | Posted by tmaster at 2017-08-10 08:19 PM | Reply

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SO what a minority of voters know this they saw no problem electing Trump to make this decision.

FTFY

#11 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2017-08-11 12:50 AM | Reply

#10 | POSTED BY TMASTER

Civics 101:

Congress enacts taxes or an act like the ACA. The president signs such acts into law or vetoes them (though a veto can be overridden).

This is to say, the two counterpoints you make are examples of a check and balance between the executive and legislative branches.

The president is the Commander in Chief of the US military forces. POTUS needs an act of congress to declare war, but a preemptive nuclear strike is a one man show.

constitutionus.com

#12 | Posted by worldasifindit at 2017-08-11 01:27 AM | Reply

Why can't we have a committee of highly respected individuals who work closely with the President to decide when it is necessary to shoot nukes? Oh yeah, because you could have a lunatic like Trump appoint the committee. Never mind.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2017-08-11 04:08 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Why can't we have a committee of highly respected individuals who work closely with the President to decide when it is necessary to shoot nukes? Oh yeah, because you could have a lunatic like Trump appoint the committee. Never mind.

#13 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2017-08-11 04:08 AM | REPLY

What's the problem? He obviously hires "only the best" people. *cough, Flynn* *cough, Manafort* *cough, cough, cough ....*

#14 | Posted by anton at 2017-08-11 08:58 AM | Reply

www.youtube.com

Haven't you old farts talked about this before? Forgive me I was like 9 years old but yeah seems history repeats.....

#15 | Posted by PinkyanTheBrain at 2017-08-11 01:52 PM | Reply

So when do you turn 10 Pinkee?

#16 | Posted by bocaink at 2017-08-11 02:37 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Feb 8 1987 it was a good day Bocaink ;) I was 9 the last time you old farts were worried about this....

#17 | Posted by PinkyanTheBrain at 2017-08-11 03:07 PM | Reply

Lol...I got you by a year, I'm sooooo old brah!

#18 | Posted by bocaink at 2017-08-12 01:01 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

First off: Trump's supposed mental instability is Fake News created by his detractors. There is no evidence, there has been no examination. Using the XXVth amendment to get rid of him is a lot harder than the normal impeachment process.

Having said that. The President is the Commander in Chief of the United States military. Giving the President the power to launch nuclear attacks is based on one simple, sad, miserable fact. The only true deterrent to using nuclear weapons against the United States or Its allies is the absolute conviction, on the part of an attacker, that The United States will launch a completely annihilating nuclear counter strike before their first strike can land. This is the policy called M.A.D. Mutually Assured Destruction.

This policy was predominant in the Cold War. It was also so popular that we signed a treaty with the Soviets to avoid any R&D on systems that could intercept and destroy ICBMs. That would be the Anti-Missile Treaty that sunsetted when Bush was president.

ICBMs cover a lot of ground really fast. The United States proper was no more than 20 minutes away from destruction by Soviet land launched ICBMs at any given moment for the duration of the Cold War. Therefore whoever is going to order that mutually destructive counter strike has 20 minutes to get it done. 20 minutes.

There is NO decision making routine in existence today that can make that call in less than 20 minutes if it has to go through a "chain of command". Period. Therefore the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Military has the ability to launch a nuclear counter strike instantly upon his realization that it is needed. Or not.

Now N. Korea is making these noises. We have been in a state of war with N. Korea since the 1950s, as a part of the United Nations Military force that was used back then. No peace treaty was ever signed to end The Korean War. All we have had in place for the last 60 plus years is a "cease fire". Now due to 25 years of bungling N. Korea is capable of launching a "First Strike" and is proposing to do so.

Like it or not. Trump has the codes to retaliate, and he alone is the governing authority to use them. Anything else is nuclear suicide.

#19 | Posted by AWinter at 2017-08-12 10:22 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Yes, President Still on has the nuclear codes.

#20 | Posted by Zed at 2017-08-12 10:33 AM | Reply

Yes, President Stillson has the nuclear codes.

#21 | Posted by Zed at 2017-08-12 10:34 AM | Reply

*shouldn't*

#22 | Posted by Tor at 2017-08-12 09:54 PM | Reply

Comments are closed for this entry.

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