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Tags donald trump , Trump controversies

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Old 11th October 2017, 01:33 PM   #1
Bob001
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Should Trump lose the nuclear football?

Our nuclear response system was designed for the Cold War, during which the U.S. leadership might have literally minutes to respond to a full-out nuclear attack from Russia. Those days are long past. But the President is empowered to order the launch of nuclear weapons immediately, without intervention or counter-balance. Experts now on MSNBC are talking about how nobody has the authority to stop a presidential launch order, and subordinates could only resign or be fired for refusing. The idea that the Secret Service or somebody would just tackle a crazy President is pure fantasy. Question: Should any launch orders require at least a second explicit approval, from the SecDef, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, etc.?

Discuss.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:36 PM   #2
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Launch authority should be automated. I'm pretty sure we can build a computer smart enough to analyze the incoming data, and make a coldly rational decision based on predetermined criteria. It's time we took the frankly unpredictable and unstable human element out of the equation.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:38 PM   #3
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In the mean time, we should make sure each nuclear launch facility--e.g., ballistic missile submarines--should be staffed by one white senior officer and one black senior officer. Final launch authority should be argued out between them, the decision resting with whichever officer has better command of the crew's loyalty at the moment of truth.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Launch authority should be automated. I'm pretty sure we can build a computer smart enough to analyze the incoming data, and make a coldly rational decision based on predetermined criteria. It's time we took the frankly unpredictable and unstable human element out of the equation.
I've seen that movie.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:39 PM   #5
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I would sleep a lot better if I knew it wasn't in his hands.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In the mean time, we should make sure each nuclear launch facility--e.g., ballistic missile submarines--should be staffed by one white senior officer and one black senior officer. Final launch authority should be argued out between them, the decision resting with whichever officer has better command of the crew's loyalty at the moment of truth.
We could name this system after a college football team!
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:41 PM   #7
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Hmm.

Well, the power to declare war is supposed to belong to Congress. That's blurred a bit (with the whole police action type thing), but still generally true.

That being said, I can't see the use of nuclear weapons as anything but an act or war, and a de facto (if not de jure) declaration of war.

I definitely think there needs to be oversight. Frankly, I'd say it should require congressional approval just as a declaration of war would. We could then legislate any exceptions required for specific situations (i.e.- "except in retaliation of a nuclear attack launched at the United States").

Should fit in well, as current policy is that the U.S. won't use biological weapons, and nuclear weapons supposedly only in response to other NBC attacks. Of course, Trump sounds like he plans on changing that.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
So have I.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Oopps, wrong movie.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Hmm.

Well, the power to declare war is supposed to belong to Congress.
It does. But Congress can delegate its powers, which it does to one extent or another in many cases. Thus the President has some authority to engage in warfare, on the basis of a pre-existing broad authorization from the legislature. Congress can rescind that authorization at any time, and make whatever new arrangement it sees fit.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Launch authority should be automated. I'm pretty sure we can build a computer smart enough to analyze the incoming data, and make a coldly rational decision based on predetermined criteria. It's time we took the frankly unpredictable and unstable human element out of the equation.
You're kidding, right? There have been several notorious instances when all the machines said an attack was inbound, and a guy with some smarts said "Not so fast." And he was right. The human element is essential; the question is "Which human(s)?"
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Launch authority should be automated. I'm pretty sure we can build a computer smart enough to analyze the incoming data, and make a coldly rational decision based on predetermined criteria. It's time we took the frankly unpredictable and unstable human element out of the equation.
We need a "Dooommsday Device"!?
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:47 PM   #13
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Tell him he can only use the Football if he kneels for the national anthem first.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It does. But Congress can delegate its powers, which it does to one extent or another in many cases. Thus the President has some authority to engage in warfare, on the basis of a pre-existing broad authorization from the legislature. Congress can rescind that authorization at any time, and make whatever new arrangement it sees fit.
Yeah, but my understanding is that the President is still limited in how many resources he can commit to any actions, and I can't see a use of nuclear as anything but a full-fledged all-out war (or the beginning of one, anyway).

At least form a subcommittee to provide oversight or something
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Both movies come to the conclusion that a automated launch system is a really, really, bad idea.

Fess up, you were just trying to stir things up, or derail the thread.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:50 PM   #16
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Hmmm. It's a nuclear football, right?

So why not tell trump he can only use it if he makes a touchdown? I don't figure he can waddle 80 yards down the field, so that might save us for a while at least.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
You're kidding, right? There have been several notorious instances when all the machines said an attack was inbound, and a guy with some smarts said "Not so fast." And he was right. The human element is essential; the question is "Which human(s)?"
There's been one notorious instance that gets brought up a lot. The more often I hear it, the less I believe it. But whatever. Let's assume it's true. Obviously the Russians need to stick with the "insubordinate subordinate officer" system for the time being. But I believe America is ready to move beyond such primitive solutions.
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Both movies come to the conclusion that a automated launch system is a really, really, bad idea.
Hollywood is preachy and stupid and hypocritical. And even at that, you're wrong: The first movie comes to the conclusion that an automated launch system guarantees an end to nuclear war, and the dawning of a new age of peace and prosperity for all mankind. There are tradeoffs, of course. But there are always tradeoffs.

Quote:
Fess up, you were just trying to stir things up, or derail the thread.
I'm discussing the idea. These movies explore possibilities. You want to complain about stirring things up and derailing the thread, go bitch at the people making football jokes.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Mine came first.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Yeah, but my understanding is that the President is still limited in how many resources he can commit to any actions, and I can't see a use of nuclear as anything but a full-fledged all-out war (or the beginning of one, anyway).

At least form a subcommittee to provide oversight or something : )
There are already oversight committees.

The more deciders you need, the more awkward it will be to assemble them and get approval in a moment of crisis. So there's a tradeoff there that needs to be considered. And we have to keep in mind that this can't just be a knee-jerk reaction to the current president. It has to be a practical solution to national defense and global security challenges the nation will continue to face for the forseeable future.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Mine came first. ; )
Yep! And it's better, too.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Launch authority should be automated. I'm pretty sure we can build a computer smart enough to analyze the incoming data, and make a coldly rational decision based on predetermined criteria. It's time we took the frankly unpredictable and unstable human element out of the equation.
Yeah, a bit like those automated systems that traded stocks and shares (or something) catastrophically and had to be rolled back?

Show me a foolproof I.T. system and I'll happily hand over the fate of a billion people to it. Ain't had one yet.

Meanwhile - I seriously doubt that there isn't a plan already in place to deny The Orange One access to the football.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
There's been one notorious instance that gets brought up a lot. The more often I hear it, the less I believe it. But whatever. Let's assume it's true. Obviously the Russians need to stick with the "insubordinate subordinate officer" system for the time being. But I believe America is ready to move beyond such primitive solutions.

One would be too many. But there have been more.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/militar...se-alarms.html
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-...ree-by-mistake

And those are just the ones we know about. I don't know why you would believe machines couldn't make a mistake.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
We could name this system after a college football team!
Nickname this system after a college football team
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
One would be too many. But there have been more.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/militar...se-alarms.html
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-...ree-by-mistake

And those are just the ones we know about. I don't know why you would believe machines couldn't make a mistake.
All those incidents describe a decision-making process based on cross-checking data from different sources. In those cases, humans had to do it because the individual systems weren't linked to each other and couldn't share data directly. There's no reason to think an integrated system wouldn't be just as accurate and much faster than a human supervisor evaluating the same information.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:28 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
All those incidents describe a decision-making process based on cross-checking data from different sources. In those cases, humans had to do it because the individual systems weren't linked to each other and couldn't share data directly. There's no reason to think an integrated system wouldn't be just as accurate and much faster than a human supervisor evaluating the same information.
Computers do only what humans have programmed them to do. If you want to open a debate about flaws in artificial intelligence, that's a different thread. But the idea that the world could be ended because of a programming error would not be popular.
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:28 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Yeah, a bit like those automated systems that traded stocks and shares (or something) catastrophically and had to be rolled back?
Here's a thought: Don't ask Wall Street quants to design your Nuclear Launch Controller. Or something.

Quote:
Show me a foolproof I.T. system and I'll happily hand over the fate of a billion people to it. Ain't had one yet.
Show me a foolproof human system.

Quote:
Meanwhile - I seriously doubt that there isn't a plan already in place to deny The Orange One access to the football.
Funny how this system has been perfectly cromulent for decades, but suddenly now you feel the need to reinvent the wheel from scratch, apparently without having given it any serious thought before. You're still having trouble giving it serious thought.

The nuclear arsenals of MAD doctrine have been around for most of your adult life--perhaps even all of it. As a responsible citizen, shouldn't you have arrived at an informed conclusion about how they should be handled, long before the current year? The fate of a billion people is at stake. Don't you already know what you want from your elected officials?
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Old 11th October 2017, 02:31 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Computers do only what humans have programmed them to do. If you want to open a debate about flaws in artificial intelligence, that's a different thread. But the idea that the world could be ended because of a programming error would not be popular.
Artificial intelligence isn't necessary--or even desirable. This is essentially a problem of applied cybernetics.
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Old 11th October 2017, 03:22 PM   #29
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With a fully integrated system, communicating with systems spread across the globe (including space), there is of course the obvious issue of foreign intervention (hacking, DoS attacks, physical attacks).

What I would advise looking into is a way to make sure that the President can only launch an immediate attack if and only if, the automated systems report an actual incoming attack.

Any offensive launch of course would is absolutely forbidden, or at the bare minimum clearly needs Congressional approval, if only because of the huge repercussions on the budget that such a decision would necessarly effect.
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Old 11th October 2017, 03:24 PM   #30
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This article might prove revelent:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017...house-advisers
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Old 11th October 2017, 03:24 PM   #31
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I worry about a By Dawn's Early Light scenario where an unknown actor throws a wrench into an automated system which does what it is programmed to and launches the nukes at the wrong targets.
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Old 11th October 2017, 03:26 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
This article might prove revelent:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017...house-advisers
Similar headlines have been running since January 20. I still don't see anyone currently in a position of responsibility who wants to do anything about it.
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Old 11th October 2017, 03:38 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
I would sleep a lot better if I knew it wasn't in his hands.
I doubt it's ever actually in his hands, unless they made it doll-sized.
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Old 11th October 2017, 04:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
With a fully integrated system, communicating with systems spread across the globe (including space), there is of course the obvious issue of foreign intervention (hacking, DoS attacks, physical attacks).
Good point. Maybe a fully automated system isn't such a good idea. On the other hand, it would be extremely difficult for outside intervention to spoof multiple sources at once, without being detected.

Physical attacks are expensive and difficult to coordinate. DOS attacks are easily defended against; it's simply a question of allocating adequate networking resources. And once you're talking about DOS attacks, you're talking about obvious hostile action.

Besides, what would be the point? The only nations with the resources to mount such an attack sit alongside America on the UNSC. If Russia or China wanted the US to nuke Iran or North Korea, they wouldn't have to resort to trickery; they could just pass a Security Council resolution authorizing it.

And of course they wouldn't want to trick the system into attacking themselves. That would be stupid.

What's marginally more likely is that someone would trick the system into thinking an attack *isn't* happening, until it was too late for effective retaliation. But even then, there's the ballistic missile submarines...

Quote:
What I would advise looking into is a way to make sure that the President can only launch an immediate attack if and only if, the automated systems report an actual incoming attack.

Any offensive launch of course would is absolutely forbidden, or at the bare minimum clearly needs Congressional approval, if only because of the huge repercussions on the budget that such a decision would necessarly effect.
If offensive launches are allowed, that makes agreement from the automated system irrelevant; that's basically the system we have today. A global network of sensors, with data reported up to the Commander in Chief, who decides whether or not to launch at his discretion.

And if we're considering that the sensor system itself can be tricked or blinded, then it becomes doubly important that the Commander have freedom to act without it.

As for Congressional approval for offensive attacks, I don't think this is practical. In order to be effective, such an attack must be a surprise. If they're to be allowed at all, I would require that they have the written agreement of the Cabinet (which can meet and deliberate in secret), with Congress being notified immediately after the launch.
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Old 11th October 2017, 05:25 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
...If offensive launches are allowed, ...
They are not.
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Old 11th October 2017, 05:35 PM   #36
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The problem with any computer system is usually a lack of imagination.

"We never thought that would happen." or "We never thought someone would do that."

The system could never be put into a real-world test, everything would have to be simulated, so everything would depend on the simulations. And the problem is not that it doesn't work when you want it to, it's that it works when you don't want it to.
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Old 11th October 2017, 05:41 PM   #37
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This all assumes that they have given him control over our nuclear arsenal in the first place. It would be much easier to just give him a dummy briefcase and tell him it is the football...
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Old 11th October 2017, 05:56 PM   #38
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I'd prefer not to give the launch codes to Skynet....
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Old 11th October 2017, 06:00 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I'd prefer not to give the launch codes to Skynet....
I'm sure Google Skynet already has them.
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Old 11th October 2017, 06:02 PM   #40
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22,739
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
They are not.
They are in the hypothetical I was replying to.

I mean, it was your hypothetical.

Last edited by theprestige; 11th October 2017 at 06:04 PM.
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