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Old 11th March 2019, 11:31 AM   #161
theprestige
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
When I was a schoolkid in the US, we were taught that hiding under our desks would save us.
The teaching was correct. There are three places you can be in a nuclear explosion:
- So close that nothing much can save you.
- So far away that nothing much will harm you.
- Somewhere in between, where something can be done to protect you from harm, so long as you know to do it.

The point of the teaching wasn't to save you in the first case, it was to protect you in the third case.
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Old 11th March 2019, 11:53 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The teaching was correct. There are three places you can be in a nuclear explosion:
- So close that nothing much can save you.
- So far away that nothing much will harm you.
- Somewhere in between, where something can be done to protect you from harm, so long as you know to do it.

The point of the teaching wasn't to save you in the first case, it was to protect you in the third case.
Hide in a lead-lined fridge.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:02 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Hide in a lead-lined fridge.
And between a certain range of distances, that's absolutely the smart thing to do. Way better than standing in the open while the blast wave rolls over you and a flying rock smashes your face in.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:03 PM   #164
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Plus, it's hilarious.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:10 PM   #165
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It's a bit like that "Lex Luthor Becomes President" storyline in DC except it's for real.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:11 PM   #166
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Are you kidding? Luthor would be a far better president.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:13 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Are you kidding? Luthor would be a far better president.
He'd probably take a hard line on keeping aliens out of the US.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:14 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It's a bit like that "Lex Luthor Becomes President" storyline in DC
Yes, indeed...

Quote:
except it's for real.
... And therefore nothing like it at all.
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Old 11th March 2019, 01:25 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Dann, that's actually supporting my point.

Yes, obviously!
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Old 12th March 2019, 05:14 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Your belief is at odds with everyone who has ever served in that capacity. Why shouldn't we trust the people who have held those jobs in the past about how it would work, instead of basing this on your refusal to believe?
You are conflating a response to an attack with a cold launch. The order actually goes to an EAC which is sitting next to the 2, 3 and 5 watch officers and a watch commander all sitting their not reporting anything is going on. The EAC tasks subordinate commanders.

The STRATCOM commander seemed to think he'd be involved in such an order since he felt compelled to answer questions about an order to launch an unprovoked attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXWUyYDbqe8

He's a little hurt you all think he's stupid.
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Old 12th March 2019, 05:23 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
And between a certain range of distances, that's absolutely the smart thing to do. Way better than standing in the open while the blast wave rolls over you and a flying rock smashes your face in.
In the long run you'll be better off if you just let the flying rock smash your face in.
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Old 12th March 2019, 05:28 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
In the long run you'll be better off if you just let the flying rock smash your face in.
A fascinating strategy. Tell us more.
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Old 12th March 2019, 05:42 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A fascinating strategy. Tell us more.
Bear in mind that you're talking about surviving a nuclear blast. What would you be trying to stay alive for? The next one? Maybe you find a lead-lined fridge to hide in next time, maybe you don't. Either way, it just ain't worth the bother to keep on keeping on being a member of a failed species.
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Old 12th March 2019, 09:14 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
It doesn't really work like that. The president would give orders but doesn't actually launch anything. I have a hard time believing that the subordinate commanders who would give the orders to the people who would launch missiles would obey when the US was not under attack or at war with another nuclear armed state. Military members at all ranks get regular training on the Law of Armed Conflict and commanders have lawyers on their staffs to advise them on these matters. An unprovoked nuclear attack would be a rather glaring example of an unlawful order.

THIS

People who have never been in the military probably don't realise that the chain of command is not absolute. For an order to be followed is needs to be Lawful. Subordinates and subordinate commanders do not have to obey unlawful commands. For example, a superior can order you to clean a car from the base car pool... that is a lawful command. What he cannot order you to do is clean HIS personal car... that is an unlawful command, and you do not have to obey it.

Launching nuclear missiles against a country which the USA is not at war with would be illegal. Ordering such a launch would be an unlawful command and therefore, the subordinates could ignore it.
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Old 12th March 2019, 09:20 PM   #175
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... but that presumes that the people lower in the command chain are aware of current events.
As portrayed in "Strangelove", the order they get makes them believe that most of the US has already been nuked, because otherwise no one would ever give them this order.
On a nuclear submarine, most of the crew might have no idea whether or not the US is under attack.
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Old 12th March 2019, 09:35 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
.....
Launching nuclear missiles against a country which the USA is not at war with would be illegal. Ordering such a launch would be an unlawful command and therefore, the subordinates could ignore it.
How many times since WWII has the U.S. gone to war against somebody? Answer: Too many to count. And how many of those wars were actually declared by Congress? Answer: Zero. Were we at war with Iraq when we launched massive attacks against it?

More to the point, the people down the chain wouldn't have any way to know what was happening around the world. The U.S. has specifically refused to adopt a "no first launch" policy, which means it feels free to launch nuclear weapons when it feels that an attack is imminent, before it occurs.

Sure, troops are supposed to refuse to obey illegal orders, like they bravely did at My Lai, Abu Ghraib, etc. etc. (but whoops, they didn't, did they?). But they have to know when orders are illegal. And in the case of an authenticated launch command from the President, they wouldn't.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:49 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
... but that presumes that the people lower in the command chain are aware of current events.
As portrayed in "Strangelove", the order they get makes them believe that most of the US has already been nuked, because otherwise no one would ever give them this order.
On a nuclear submarine, most of the crew might have no idea whether or not the US is under attack.
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
How many times since WWII has the U.S. gone to war against somebody? Answer: Too many to count. And how many of those wars were actually declared by Congress? Answer: Zero. Were we at war with Iraq when we launched massive attacks against it?

More to the point, the people down the chain wouldn't have any way to know what was happening around the world. The U.S. has specifically refused to adopt a "no first launch" policy, which means it feels free to launch nuclear weapons when it feels that an attack is imminent, before it occurs.

Sure, troops are supposed to refuse to obey illegal orders, like they bravely did at My Lai, Abu Ghraib, etc. etc. (but whoops, they didn't, did they?). But they have to know when orders are illegal. And in the case of an authenticated launch command from the President, they wouldn't.
Now remember, what we are talking about here is the possibility of POTUS going bananas and launching an unpredicted, unprovoked first-strike. It will never get that far. The guys pressing the buttons might not have the the information they need to make an informed decision, but the military commanders at the Pentagon sure as hell do. If there is a nuclear situation developing in NK, they will know about it long before POTUS.

Also, contrary to popular fiction, POTUS does not have a big red button to push in order to launch nukes. POTUS cannot launch nukes without the co-operation of both JCS and the Secretary of Defence... these are the adults in the room.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:06 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
....
Also, contrary to popular fiction, POTUS does not have a big red button to push in order to launch nukes. POTUS cannot launch nukes without the co-operation of both JCS and the Secretary of Defence... these are the adults in the room.
That's just not true. The JCS and the SecDef are not part of the nuclear chain of command. The President would issue messages directly to strategic commanders, authenticated by codes on a card he carries. I have posted numerous links in which experts describe the actual process. What is your source to the contrary?
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:19 AM   #179
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Also, Trump does have a big red button. Luckily, at the current moment it only orders a new can of Coke.
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Old 13th March 2019, 02:26 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
That's just not true. The JCS and the SecDef are not part of the nuclear chain of command. The President would issue messages directly to strategic commanders, authenticated by codes on a card he carries. I have posted numerous links in which experts describe the actual process. What is your source to the contrary?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...mand_Authority

"Only the President can direct the use of nuclear weapons by U.S. armed forces, through plans like OPLAN 8010-12. While the President does have unilateral authority as commander-in-chief to order that nuclear weapons be used for any reason at any time, the actual procedures and technical systems in place for authorizing the execution of a launch order require a secondary confirmation under a two-man rule, as the President's order is subject to secondary confirmation by the Secretary of Defense. If the Secretary of Defense does not concur, then the President may in his sole discretion fire the Secretary. The Secretary of Defense has legal authority to approve the order, but cannot veto it"

"If the President fires the Secretary, then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will look to the Deputy Secretary of Defense to confirm that a nuclear strike is warranted. He will not pass a nuclear strike order to the operating forces unless the two-man rule has been followed."

What happens if he keeps firing people, and every 'next' person will not comply?

Long before that happens, he will get a bullet!

AIUI, if no-one will comply with the President, he cannot launch nukes on his own.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:44 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
That's just not true. The JCS and the SecDef are not part of the nuclear chain of command. The President would issue messages directly to strategic commanders, authenticated by codes on a card he carries. I have posted numerous links in which experts describe the actual process. What is your source to the contrary?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football

Both the SECDEF and the CJCS have roles in the process though they are not in the chain of command. There's also precedent for SECDEF to move to prevent such an order. In the final days of the Nixon presidency, his Secretary of Defense ordered that any order to use nuclear weapons from the president should be confirmed by himself or Henery Kissenger.

The links you post refer to responses while under attack not an insane president bent on taking the country and world with him as he implodes.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:44 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
You are conflating a response to an attack with a cold launch. The order actually goes to an EAC which is sitting next to the 2, 3 and 5 watch officers and a watch commander all sitting their not reporting anything is going on. The EAC tasks subordinate commanders.

The STRATCOM commander seemed to think he'd be involved in such an order since he felt compelled to answer questions about an order to launch an unprovoked attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXWUyYDbqe8

He's a little hurt you all think he's stupid.
And yet former secretaries of defense disagree with him and say that there is nothing to stop the president.

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/201...-nuclear-codes
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:46 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
THIS

People who have never been in the military probably don't realise that the chain of command is not absolute. For an order to be followed is needs to be Lawful. Subordinates and subordinate commanders do not have to obey unlawful commands. For example, a superior can order you to clean a car from the base car pool... that is a lawful command. What he cannot order you to do is clean HIS personal car... that is an unlawful command, and you do not have to obey it.

Launching nuclear missiles against a country which the USA is not at war with would be illegal. Ordering such a launch would be an unlawful command and therefore, the subordinates could ignore it.
Just like when we bombed Syria and all the officers refused to launch those missiles because it was an illegal act of war. We bomb people all the time outside of war, I mean seriously we haven't been at war since WWII. Yet we do a lot of bombing. Get with the times.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:48 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Now remember, what we are talking about here is the possibility of POTUS going bananas and launching an unpredicted, unprovoked first-strike. It will never get that far. The guys pressing the buttons might not have the the information they need to make an informed decision, but the military commanders at the Pentagon sure as hell do. If there is a nuclear situation developing in NK, they will know about it long before POTUS.

Also, contrary to popular fiction, POTUS does not have a big red button to push in order to launch nukes. POTUS cannot launch nukes without the co-operation of both JCS and the Secretary of Defence... these are the adults in the room.
And what proof that they would launch a coup then? There are reasons why a law preventing a nuclear first strike with out congresses authority is being proposed and yet they never get around to it.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:52 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...mand_Authority

"Only the President can direct the use of nuclear weapons by U.S. armed forces, through plans like OPLAN 8010-12. While the President does have unilateral authority as commander-in-chief to order that nuclear weapons be used for any reason at any time, the actual procedures and technical systems in place for authorizing the execution of a launch order require a secondary confirmation under a two-man rule, as the President's order is subject to secondary confirmation by the Secretary of Defense. If the Secretary of Defense does not concur, then the President may in his sole discretion fire the Secretary. The Secretary of Defense has legal authority to approve the order, but cannot veto it"

"If the President fires the Secretary, then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will look to the Deputy Secretary of Defense to confirm that a nuclear strike is warranted. He will not pass a nuclear strike order to the operating forces unless the two-man rule has been followed."

What happens if he keeps firing people, and every 'next' person will not comply?

Long before that happens, he will get a bullet!

AIUI, if no-one will comply with the President, he cannot launch nukes on his own.
Kind of true but unless he starts claiming Trump is a space lizard or something he can't override the president.

"Now, there’s a slight wrinkle: The secretary of defense is required to verify the president’s order to launch. But he or she doesn’t have veto power. If the president orders a nuclear launch, the secretary is legally obligated to do it. He or she could theoretically choose to resign rather than carry out the order, but then it would fall to the secretary’s second-in-command to order the strike."

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/201...-nuclear-codes

I know you are certain that this time unlike every other time US troops would bravely refuse a legal order(the president has this power legally after all, no law prevents a nuclear first strike against another nation, war powers act and all). So yes after 60 days the nuclear bombing campaign might be illegal but until then it would be.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:53 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football

Both the SECDEF and the CJCS have roles in the process though they are not in the chain of command. There's also precedent for SECDEF to move to prevent such an order. In the final days of the Nixon presidency, his Secretary of Defense ordered that any order to use nuclear weapons from the president should be confirmed by himself or Henery Kissenger.

The links you post refer to responses while under attack not an insane president bent on taking the country and world with him as he implodes.
Yep we are depending on them violating the law.
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Old 13th March 2019, 05:11 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Yep we are depending on them violating the law.
---wouldn't be the first time with Trump-.
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Old 13th March 2019, 05:31 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, obviously!
Sorry, I'm not used to you agreeing with me!
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Old 13th March 2019, 07:13 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Yep we are depending on them violating the law.
Refusing an unlawful order is not a violation of the law.
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Old 13th March 2019, 07:29 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Just like when we bombed Syria and all the officers refused to launch those missiles because it was an illegal act of war. We bomb people all the time outside of war, I mean seriously we haven't been at war since WWII. Yet we do a lot of bombing. Get with the times.
Yes but we don't end civilization all the time.
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Old 13th March 2019, 09:25 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Refusing an unlawful order is not a violation of the law.
What law would it violate? The president has the authority in the war powers act to launch air strikes on foreign nations, see the recent bombing of syrian airports as a clear example of that. So what law makes it unlawful to use a nuke instead of a conventional weapon in such an attack?

And of course there is not exactly a good track record of people refusing unlawful orders, those seem to be followed, and when they get caught like in abu ghraib we pretend they did it on their own.

There have been proposed laws that would limit the presidents authority on preemptive nuclear strikes but they never made it to a vote.
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Old 13th March 2019, 09:27 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Yes but we don't end civilization all the time.
But that doesn't make doing so illegal. It is entirely with in the presidents authority to launch america's nuclear arsenal as he sees fit. No one has seen fit to do so yet. That does not mean they don't have that ability.
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Old 13th March 2019, 09:38 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
What law would it violate? The president has the authority in the war powers act to launch air strikes on foreign nations, see the recent bombing of syrian airports as a clear example of that. So what law makes it unlawful to use a nuke instead of a conventional weapon in such an attack?

And of course there is not exactly a good track record of people refusing unlawful orders, those seem to be followed, and when they get caught like in abu ghraib we pretend they did it on their own.

There have been proposed laws that would limit the presidents authority on preemptive nuclear strikes but they never made it to a vote.

A lengthy discussion of what constitutes an "illegal" order. Short answer: It's not clear, and the President usually gets what he wants.
Quote:
The past 50 years of American warfare has shown that presidents and their advisers have been able to come up with “just war” arguments for every military engagement, no matter how stretched in retrospect.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.f4144f6d1cb3
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Old 13th March 2019, 09:46 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...mand_Authority

"Only the President can direct the use of nuclear weapons by U.S. armed forces, through plans like OPLAN 8010-12. While the President does have unilateral authority as commander-in-chief to order that nuclear weapons be used for any reason at any time, the actual procedures and technical systems in place for authorizing the execution of a launch order require a secondary confirmation under a two-man rule, as the President's order is subject to secondary confirmation by the Secretary of Defense. If the Secretary of Defense does not concur, then the President may in his sole discretion fire the Secretary. The Secretary of Defense has legal authority to approve the order, but cannot veto it"

"If the President fires the Secretary, then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will look to the Deputy Secretary of Defense to confirm that a nuclear strike is warranted. He will not pass a nuclear strike order to the operating forces unless the two-man rule has been followed."
.....

What you cite is not itself supported by any citation or link. Here's what a former actual nuclear launch officer says:
Quote:
Yet Trump indulges in issuing such threats, and he has unchecked authority to order a preventive nuclear strike against any nation he wants with a single verbal direction to the Pentagon war room. Under the current nuclear strike protocol, he can consult any and all — or none — of his national security advisers, and no one can legally countermand his order. If he gave the green light using his nuclear codes, a launch order the length of a tweet would be transmitted and carried out within a few minutes . I could fire my missiles 60 seconds after receiving an order. There would be no recalling missiles fired from silos and submarines.

I believe the nuclear commanders at all levels would obey such an order, despite deep misgivings about its wisdom and legality. The military’s thorough subordination to civilian control and deeply ingrained attitude of deference to presidential direction; its well-greased and practiced protocols from top to bottom of the nuclear chain of command, geared to carry out his orders quickly (and to pressure a hesitant president to give the order) — as well as widespread ignorance among the rank and file about the dubious legality of striking first — leave little doubt in my mind that a presidential decision to strike a preventive blow, however misguided and reckless, would not be thwarted. It might be opposed strenuously by his advisers if they had a chance to weigh in, but in the end, they would acquiesce.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...=.584d8f6bbad3
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:14 AM   #195
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More about lawful orders. A launch officer who asked "How do we know the President isn't insane?" in the '70s was immediately removed from duty.
https://slate.com/human-interest/201...is-career.html

And from the link, VP Cheney expresses his opinion:
Quote:
Here’s what Cheney told Fox News: “The president of the United State is now, for 50 years, is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a ‘football’ that contains the nuclear codes that he would use and be authorized to use in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States. He could launch a kind of devastating attack the world’s never seen. He doesn’t have to check with anybody. He doesn’t have to call the Congress. He doesn’t have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in.”
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:28 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Refusing an unlawful order is not a violation of the law.
"Unlawful order" would be your defense at your court-martial after you were arrested and prosecuted. Cpl. Smith wouldn't get to tell Gen. Jones "That's illegal!" and just dance away. And if you didn't actually get locked up, the top guy can certainly make your life miserable.

Last edited by Bob001; 13th March 2019 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:41 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
"Unlawful order" would be your defense at your court-martial after you were arrested and prosecuted. Cpl. Smith wouldn't get to tell Gen. Jones "That's illegal!" and just dance away. And if you didn't actually get locked up, the top guy can certainly make your life miserable.
There seems to be a broad consensus that all-out nuclear war would make your life miserable.
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Old 13th March 2019, 11:33 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
There seems to be a broad consensus that all-out nuclear war would make your life miserable.
And yet so many seem to think it's a real possibility, at least in the sense that one side could hurt the other more than it gets hurt itself.
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Old 13th March 2019, 11:44 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
And yet so many seem to think it's a real possibility, at least in the sense that one side could hurt the other more than it gets hurt itself.
And of course the actions being proposed are not exactly MAD triggering attacks. Who would nuke the US if we sent a nuke or two into Iran?
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:05 PM   #200
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If Trump gave any indication that he was about to launch nukes unilaterally, and against the advice of everyone around him and everyone in the upper echelons of the chain of command, then a 25th Amendment action would take place so fast, his feet would not hit the ground.

POTUS has the sole right to authorise the use of nukes, but he cannot execute a launch order on his own. If SecDef and/or CJCS, do not concur, the launch order will proceed no further.

Any such attempt by POTUS against all the advice of his security and military staff would make it clear that he has gone cuckoo. He would be restrained and treated immediately, and the Vice President would assume the duties of POTUS under 25A, with Speaker of the House assuming the VP Role.
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