john_hyten

Does Trump Have Final Say When it Comes to a Nuclear War?

john_hyten

This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

If you’re worried that there might be a nuclear war, you should be.  Well, kind of.  I don’t want to scare anyone with that statement, but I also don’t want to downplay it too much.  The President of the United States doesn’t have a good understanding of how nuclear strategy works.  He also has an awful temper, so there is some reason to worry.  That being said, U.S. Strategic Command Chief and Air Force General John Hyten told attendees to calm down, at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia on Saturday.  Strategic Command, which controls nuclear weapons in the event of a war, won’t let the president just launch nuclear weapons for the sake of it.  In fact, he will only let the president legally launch nuclear weapons.

Hyten responded to a Reuters report, which suggested that the United States would be launching nuclear missiles, illegally.  “I think some people think we’re stupid.  We’re not stupid people.  We think about these things a lot.  When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”  I don’t think most people are worried about Hyten and his intelligence.  They’re worried about the threats that the current president makes towards North Korea (and maybe other countries).  Maybe the president can’t launch nukes in a “willy-nilly” fashion, but that’s the impression he’s giving off. So I think it’s a fair thought for people to have.

Hyten goes on to say:

“I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do. And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I‘m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”

It’s not that complicated? That sounds a bit condescending, doesn’t it?  Further, I think the president is going to want to know what would be legal so he can launch a nuclear missile in a legal capacity.  I suspect he will then continue to egg North Korea on until he gets his wish.  Which isn’t necessarily a good thing.  The only real “good” thing about all of this is that there are legal concerns that could prevent the president from an unprovoked nuclear attack on another country.

Earlier on in this post, I suggested that this isn’t necessarily reassuring.  While the president might not be the one making that call, it’s nothing more than a legality.  Literally.  A nuclear war could till result in the deaths of millions of people.  And that isn’t exactly something to look forward to.  It’s unfortunate that this is the last course of action.  Regardless, this is a tense time for the world and two of the people involved don’t exactly seem to have all of their faculties.  So please excuse me, if a technicality of a legal rationale doesn’t make me feel better about this whole thing.