Lawmakers move to limit Trump authority to launch nuke after ‘nuclear button’ size tweet | World Defense

Lawmakers move to limit Trump authority to launch nuke after ‘nuclear button’ size tweet

Khafee

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Lawmakers move to limit Trump authority to launch nuke after ‘nuclear button’ size tweet
By: Joe Gould
04 Jan 2018


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The process for launching a nuclear strike is secret and complex. (mrdoomits/Getty Images)


WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers are offering legislation to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to launch a nuclear first strike after he heckled North Korea’s leader about the comparative size of his “nuclear button.”

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, and Rep. Ted Lieu, of California, have sponsored legislation that would require the president to receive congressional approval before initiating a first-use nuclear strike from the United States.

The two took to Twitter to rally support for their legislation after Trump bragged in a tweet Tuesday evening that he had a “much bigger” button than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

[Read: Here’s what it takes to actually launch a nuclear strike]

“No one person should have the power to decide when the U.S. will be the first to use nuclear weapons,” Markey’s tweet reads in part. Retweet, if you agree, he asked; and as of Wednesday morning, more than 3,800 had.

Worried that @realDonaldTrump could launch a #nuclear war? My bill w/ @RepTedLieu would prevent Trump from launching a nuclear first strike. No one person should have the power to decide when the U.S. will be the first to use nuclear weapons. RT if you agree.​
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) January 3, 2018

In a hallway interview Wednesday afternoon, Senate’s No. 2 Republican John Cornyn, of Texas, expressed discomfort with the inflammatory talk on both sides. He stressed the need for a diplomatic solution and hailed the efforts of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to engage China.

“That’s a very serious issue, and I don’t know how anybody’s interests are served by escalating that rhetoric,” Cornyn said.

A handful of congressional Democrats had earlier in the day taken to Twitter to decry Trump’s saber rattling, in somewhat stronger terms.

House Armed Services Committee member Ro Khanna, D-Calif., tweeted the Markey-Lieu legislation urgently needs to pass this Monday, the day the House returns.

Congress needs to pass this Monday — on the first day of votes in 2018 — legislation restricting Trump’s ability to launch a preemptive nuclear strike without authorization. https://t.co/8B0AlmSgnu
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) January 3, 2018

llinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both her legs in the Iraq war, dissed Trump as “Cadet Bone Spurs” — a reference to his draft deferment during the Vietnam War — and urged him to worry more about mass U.S. military casualties in such a conflict.

Cadet Bone Spurs should worry more about the 35K US troops stationed in ROK who could be killed in a #NorthKorea nuclear strike&ensuing artillery duel than the relative size of his "nuclear button"https://t.co/mbnj3z3pQJ
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) January 3, 2018

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee called Trump’s tweet “reckless beyond words.”

This is exactly the kind of reckless behavior I was hoping we would avoid in 2018. Please Mr. President, no more diplomacy via twitter.https://t.co/EH2kot3kHX
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) January 3, 2018
The juvenile & irresponsible behavior of comparing nuclear button sizes with the leader of North Korea further diminishes our role in the int'l community and is the reason why I cosponsored legislation with Rep.@tedlieu that will prevent a presidential preemptive nuclear strike.​
— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) January 3, 2018
.@realDonaldTrump's taunting tweet is downright dangerous and the clearest sign to date that he is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief & in control of nuclear weapons. https://t.co/KZ4L09TUla
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) January 3, 2018
Trump mocked that assertion, writing: “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

But despite ratcheting up the tension, Trump doesn’t really have a nuclear button.

The process for launching a nuclear strike is secret and complex and involves the use of a nuclear “football,” which is carried by a rotating group of military officers everywhere the president goes and is equipped with communication tools and a book with prepared war plans.

With the power to spark a nuclear war that would annihilate millions of people, comes the great and sober responsibility to prevent it at all costs. This is not just a tweet. It’s a complete disregard of the President’s duty as Commander-in-chief. https://t.co/iQBhDO7Led
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) January 3, 2018
The President has got to stop making threats of nuclear war towards North Korea or any country. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that this behavior is dangerous and could lead - in the worst case scenario - to a nuclear war. https://t.co/DoAVBa1bZW
— US Rep. Rick Nolan (@USRepRickNolan) January 3, 2018

If the president were to order a strike, he would identify himself to military officials at the Pentagon with codes unique to him. Those codes are recorded on a card known as the “biscuit” that is carried by the president at all times. He would then transmit the launch order to the Pentagon and U.S. Strategic Command.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump sounded open to the possibility of an inter-Korean dialogue after Kim made a rare overture toward South Korea in an address. But Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations insisted talks would not be meaningful unless the North was getting rid of its nuclear weapons.

In response to Kim’s overture, South Korea on Tuesday offered high-level talks on Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. The South said Wednesday that North Korea’s state-run radio station announced the North would reopen a cross-border communication channel.

If there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations have plunged as the North has accelerated its nuclear and ballistic missile development that now poses a direct threat to America, South Korea’s crucial ally.

The U.S. administration, however, voiced suspicions that Kim was seeking to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington. Pyongyang could view a closer relationship with Seoul as a way for reducing its growing international isolation and relief from sanctions that are starting to bite the North’s meager economy.

“We won’t take any of the talks seriously if they don’t do something to ban all nuclear weapons in North Korea,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters at the United Nations. “We consider this to be a very reckless regime. We don’t think we need a Band-Aid, and we don’t think we need to smile and take a picture.”

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ben Cardin, said Trump’s tweet was “not befitting the president” and embarrassing on the world stage. He welcomed possible talks between Pyongyang and Seoul and said the U.S. must work with China toward a resolution.

“That’s their neighbor on the Korean peninsula, and it’s good to have talks between North and South,” Cardin said. “What the US needs to do is a diplomatic surge to resolve the crisis.”



The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/01/03/lawmakers-move-to-limit-trump-authority-to-launch-nuke-after-nuclear-button-size-tweet/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DFN DNR 1.3.18&utm_term=Editorial - Daily News Roundup
 

Nilgiri

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It wont get anywhere, US statute and precedence is quite clear and SCOTUS will rule decisively on it (in favour of the executives role) should it ever come to that.

Even though SCOTUS is pretty much 50/50 split on both sides still, they supported 7-2 stay on repealing Trump's travel ban for a reason.
 

BATMAN

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It's general ignorance... that nukes can be launched by single push of a button and /or by one person's order /wish.
In case US is organizing its nukes in such manner as stated by Trump, than every one in this world must be worried, even north Americans. Imagine a scenario that due to some technical fault launcher fail, but detonation continue with its course.
Angry Trump will never know, what's wrong until he feel hot!
This was one example of how technical stuff may go wrong, therefore there are checks, monitoring and operational procedures even for firing an anti tank missile.
Truth is its impossible that any such button exist, which Trump can press on his own accord.
 

Nilgiri

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It's general ignorance... that nukes can be launched by single push of a button and /or by one person's order /wish.
In case US is organizing its nukes in such manner as stated by Trump, than every one in this world must be worried, even north Americans. Imagine a scenario that due to some technical fault launcher fail, but detonation continue with its course.
Angry Trump will never know, what's wrong until he feel hot!
This was one example of how technical stuff may go wrong, therefore there are checks, monitoring and operational procedures even for firing an anti tank missile.
Truth is its impossible that any such button exist, which Trump can press on his own accord.
Trump was using the word button figuratively as was little kim.

Command and control of WMD is not hot button based....and neither is there some lack of standard protocols when DEFCON is not at level 1.
 

BATMAN

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Trump was using the word button figuratively as was little kim.

Command and control of WMD is not hot button based....and neither is there some lack of standard protocols when DEFCON is not at level 1.
That's what I meant... I wasn't sure if all audience is technical enough to separate reality from figurative speech... as you indicated.
 

Khafee

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@BATMAN @Nilgiri

Nuclear Football

Some details are known, as detailed in William Arkin’s 1999 book "American Coup." The "football" — an oddly shaped 45-pound briefcase — is at the center of the President’s command and control of the arsenal, in nuclear submarines patrolling the Arctic; in missile silos on the Great Plains and in bombers on runways and aloft in the skies.

The military aide carrying the "football" remains physically close to the president, ready to carry out a well-rehearsed choreography of command and control. Inside are what Arkin, now a senior investigator with NBC News, called the "modern accoutrements" of communication.

There are computers, modems, radios, cell and satellite phones, even an instruction booklet, but no "button" per se. American nuclear weapons are launched by the highly secure communication of specified nuclear codes, nicknamed the "biscuit," which are changed daily. They authenticate the President’s identity.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/donald-trump-getting-nuclear-football-n709006

The football also provides the commander-in-chief with a simplified menu of nuclear strike options.
There are four things in the football:
1) The Black Book containing the retaliatory options,
2) a book listing classified site locations,
3) a manila folder with eight or ten pages stapled together giving a description of procedures for the Emergency Alert System,
4) and a three-by-five inch card with authentication codes.

The Black Book was about nine by 12 inches and had 75 loose-leaf pages printed in black and red. The book with classified site locations was about the same size as the Black Book, and was also black. It contained information on sites around the country where the president could be taken in an emergency.

But for as much as the football contains, it won’t work without “the biscuit” — a credit-card-sized piece of plastic containing the codes the president needs to order the launch of nuclear weapons. The president is supposed to carry the biscuit at all times

https://timeline.com/jimmy-carter-once-sent-launch-codes-to-the-cleaner-and-other-scary-tales-of-the-nuclear-football-add77568346e

More Details:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football

170120-nuclear-codes-football.jpg

image-12-pictures-of-barack-obama-s-visit-3801080.jpg

1 b_CiGkTG2SLE592PO1jl1A.jpeg
 

jbgt90

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BATMAN

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What do you mean by that?
I was referring to the pictures posted above... I don't remember seeing them around US president all the time or perhaps they are at distance as you see them in pictures alone!
 

Khafee

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I was referring to the pictures posted above... I don't remember seeing them around US president all the time or perhaps they are at distance as you see them in pictures alone!
It is always manned by a uniformed aide, and close by, but usually out of public sight.
 

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