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Old 21 November 2017, 09:06 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Icon81 Could Anyone Stop Trump from Launching Nukes?

The snopes' page at https://www.snopes.com/2017/11/13/an...kes-answer-no/ says "no". But the military begs to differ http://abcnews.go.com/International/...fused-51248992

A soldier is never required to follow an illegal order, so there is at least that situation and the president doesn't have unlimited power to launch nukes.
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  #2  
Old 21 November 2017, 09:21 PM
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The problem with the article on the main Snopes page 9I think it is an AP article, not a Snopes original?) is that it leaves out the carrying out of the order. It says:
Quote:
Blair, the former missile launch officer, said there is no way to reverse the president’s order. And there would be no recalling missiles once launched.
but the president does not launch the missile. They are acting like Trump has a giant red button that he need only press.

For that matter, any order can be declined at least temporarily. Is that legal? No, or in some cases maybe, and if the order is illegal then yes. What would they do? I don't know, remove the guy who failed to activate the bombs and have someone else do it probably, but if the person stopping it is high enough up, then I guess we have a bit of a mutiny.
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  #3  
Old 22 November 2017, 03:37 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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There is certainly precedent for a military officer refusing to launch a nuclear attack.
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  #4  
Old 22 November 2017, 03:45 AM
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Of course, he wasn't American.
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  #5  
Old 22 November 2017, 11:07 PM
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It does raise the specter of a constitutional crisis that military officers might feel they have an obligation not just to not follow an order they know to be illegal, but to decline to immediately carry out an order until they can investigate whether it is illegal or not.

In addition, it shifts the calculus of the mutually assured destruction theory of nuclear deterrence. If one side can attack, and the other side is going to go into an internal crisis before it can retaliate, that changes things. Maybe not enough for any sane person to risk it, but we aren't dealing with only sane.people.
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Old 22 November 2017, 11:38 PM
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I think what people are primarily worried about is the possibility of Trump ordering a first strike, not a retaliatory one.

If other nations are also concerned that the USA might use nukes as a first strike, that doesn't stabilize the situation, that would it seems to me massively destabilize it. If everybody's worried somebody else will strike whether or not they do, the chances someone will try to get in first becomes greater.
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Old 23 November 2017, 01:10 AM
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If Trump wants to use nuclear weapons, whether it’s ‘legal’ won’t matter:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...l-wont-matter/
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Old 23 November 2017, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
It does raise the specter of a constitutional crisis that military officers might feel they have an obligation not just to not follow an order they know to be illegal, but to decline to immediately carry out an order until they can investigate whether it is illegal or not.
Orders from the National Command Authority (the POTUS and SECDEF) are presumed to be legal until proven otherwise. I wish I could find the CD with that memo on it, but :shrug:. Anyways, I know it's unclassified because it was part of my Joint Professional Military Education - Phase One. Has every officer, much less every service member, completed this curriculum? No, not by a long shot. But by law every flag or general officer will have.

So that's the "official story" (but not really, because I'm not speaking in an official capacity). If (g)you are counting on the military to prevent a nuclear war or any other kind of war, don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I think what people are primarily worried about is the possibility of Trump ordering a first strike, not a retaliatory one.
Outside of a very small number of people very close to the President, it is unlikely that those receiving the order to launch a strike would know whether they were carrying out a retaliatory or a first strike, much less be able to assess the "legality" of the order.
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Old 23 November 2017, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
If Trump wants to use nuclear weapons, whether it’s ‘legal’ won’t matter:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...l-wont-matter/
Thanks, snopes, I was getting far too much sleep before I read that. Definitely won't be a problem now.
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  #10  
Old 23 November 2017, 12:31 PM
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A ballsy staffer at the NSA could could give Trump a fake code-card, preventing him from accessing the weapons at all.

Last edited by gopher; 23 November 2017 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Misspelling
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  #11  
Old 23 November 2017, 01:28 PM
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They'd need to put a Twitter support address on it, too. "Security code not working? Please tweet one of our staff at @nuclearcodeshelpline for assistance." That conversation would keep us all amused while somebody dealt with the situation, or at least let us die smiling...
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Old 29 November 2017, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Orders from the National Command Authority (the POTUS and SECDEF) are presumed to be legal until proven otherwise. I wish I could find the CD with that memo on it, but :shrug:. Anyways, I know it's unclassified because it was part of my Joint Professional Military Education - Phase One. Has every officer, much less every service member, completed this curriculum? No, not by a long shot. But by law every flag or general officer will have.

So that's the "official story" (but not really, because I'm not speaking in an official capacity). If (g)you are counting on the military to prevent a nuclear war or any other kind of war, don't.


Outside of a very small number of people very close to the President, it is unlikely that those receiving the order to launch a strike would know whether they were carrying out a retaliatory or a first strike, much less be able to assess the "legality" of the order.
But the historical precedence is that a Russian naval officer refused the order to use Nuc's. Are you suggesting that the Russian military of the early 60's had a greater numbers of ways to stop a missile launch than does the US?

Granted this is grasping for straws for things that might prevent a nuclear exchange but since rational thought appears to be in pretty short supply in the White house these days it might be the best we have.
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Old 29 November 2017, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
But the historical precedence is that a Russian naval officer refused the order to use Nuc's.
Where is the indication that he "refused an order"? I don't see where the cite you provided supports that claim. (ETA - To save others the trouble of reading the cite: As I understand the plain English of the Wiki, they never got such an order. His boat required a unanimous decision between three officers. He voted against while the other two voted for. We owe him one for sure but nowhere does it say he refused an order.)

Last edited by ganzfeld; 29 November 2017 at 08:20 PM.
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  #14  
Old 29 November 2017, 11:01 PM
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Read This!

Not only that, but it wasn't a missile, it was a torpedo. So, yeah, there's a difference between a soviet XO vetoing (presumably IAW regulations) the use of a tactical nuclear weapon when the CO thinks they might be under attack (but aren't) vs. the President of the United States ordering any sort of strike against another country, nuclear or otherwise. I say again: outside of a few very replaceable and highly indoctrinated/carefully screened generals, most involved wouldn't even know what had happened or why they were launching.

Honestly, I don't know what kind of decision-making authority US military commanders had with tactical nuclear weapons in the 1960s, particularly for presumed self-defense, but the incident aboard B-59 was a long way off from a Crimson Tide scenario. Which, by the way, hinged on whether an incomplete transmission might have countermanded the launch order, not whether the initial launch order from the NCA was lawful.

It's been an academic issue with nuclear weapons so far, but the lawfulness of presidential orders to the military is anything but when it comes to conventional warfare in the post-Vietnam era. If congress wants to argue that the POTUS' use of force in, say, Syria or Yemen isn't lawful (IAW the constitutionally questionable War Powers Act), they'll need to take that up with the courts, not the military: the presumption by military leadership is going to be that the president's orders are lawful until proven otherwise. To presume anything else would be something akin to a military-led coup. We don't do that in America.

And Prussian Field Marshall's don't mutiny.
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Old 30 November 2017, 02:32 AM
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In a futile attempt to provide some levity, Trevor Noah has suggestions on how to Trump-proof our nukes. I do wonder if making him enter Tiffany’s birthday world slow him down more than Eric’s.
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  #16  
Old 30 November 2017, 06:12 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Not only that, but it wasn't a missile, it was a torpedo. So, yeah, there's a difference between a soviet XO vetoing (presumably IAW regulations) the use of a tactical nuclear weapon when the CO thinks they might be under attack (but aren't) vs. the President of the United States ordering any sort of strike against another country, nuclear or otherwise. I say again: outside of a few very replaceable and highly indoctrinated/carefully screened generals, most involved wouldn't even know what had happened or why they were launching.
If a Russian boomer had launched a nuclear torpedo I suspect the end result would likely have been the same as if they had launched a nuclear ICBM. The POTUS would have had a very hard time deescalating what at that point would have been a nuclear war. All the POTUS would have known was that a nuc was used within a stones throw of the US mainland and that nuc most certainly came from a sub that was close enough to deliver additional attacks.
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Old 30 November 2017, 09:24 AM
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Nuclear weapons are nothing but a giant faecal smear on the face of humanity. I wish Reagan or Obama had been successful in their stated aim to get rid of them. There is no excuse at all for any country to have them. Their continued existence in plural numbers is the problem, not the "legality" of their use or how they're stored or who can stop who from using them or any of that nfbsking nonsense.
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  #18  
Old 30 November 2017, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
If a Russian boomer had launched a nuclear torpedo I suspect the end result would likely have been the same as if they had launched a nuclear ICBM. The POTUS would have had a very hard time deescalating what at that point would have been a nuclear war. All the POTUS would have known was that a nuc was used within a stones throw of the US mainland and that nuc most certainly came from a sub that was close enough to deliver additional attacks.
You are continuing to draw a false equivalence between the discretionary employment of nuclear weapons by a submarine commander without higher orders vs. orders from the President to employ strategic nuclear weapons.

And in what way would a nuclear torpedo be indistinguishable from (or the same as) a nuclear ICBM?
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