Would Generals Refuse Orders To Use Nukes?
Would generals refuse Trumps orders? Will the Military refuse an order from our President, if he ordered a nuclear strike; would they be obligated to carry it out? Is the use of nukes in retaliation or due to a attack of like kind a step too far?
Yesterday news reports come out that said the head of the US Strategic Command, Air Force General John Hyten, told reporters if President Trump commanded him to launch a nuclear strike he would refuse if it was illegal. The left jumped for joy, they were worried that somehow the president could, in a fit of a psychotic meltdown, press a button and send our nukes flying at different countries, thus ensuring this world would die a quick and rather terrible nuclear death. Of course, what they all refused to report was the rest of what he said, “If I determined the orders were illegal I would 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, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.” They seemed to miss out that he never said he would refuse orders but would inform the president what was legal and illegal, then give an alternative.
Naturally hearing this, some of the less scrupulous news outlets ran headlines omitting the part that the general said only an illegal order would be refused, you had headlines like, “U.S. general says nuclear launch order can be refused” to the more accurate “US general says he would resist ‘illegal’ Trump nuclear strike order”. It seems many thought the president could just order a nuclear strike, and the US command would be forced to act on a whim of the president, but they could not be further from the truth. The facts are that no president has the right to order a massive first strike out of the blue, or on a whim to call in the nuclear briefcase, and fire off nukes at Moscow and Beijing, or in a more likely case today at Pyongyang or Tehran like some madman.
A great example of this is if the US knew the area was bristling with ground to air missiles sites making it impenetrable and found nuclear missiles were being readied to fire, they would have to act, in such a scenario they could very well launch a strike on the site before the enemy could have their missile ready to launch, but would have to have assets close by to keep reaction time short.
But what if the president just figured he had enough of the “Rocket Man”, as our president is so fond of calling North Korea’s leader, and ordered our Air Force or Navy to use their nuclear weapons to take out Kim Jong-un and all launching sites in a nuclear strike? The fact is unless the orders were lawful, and had good military reasoning behind them, they would be refused. That is not the way the nuclear strategic command works, the president does not have a key that he uses to fire off nukes, all he does is give orders, the military then acts in the best way to carry out these orders.
The truth is each president is surrounded by advisor’s (military, state, and legal), all looking at the international and national repercussions of any action, they then give their advice, the president then acts on this advice; no act is done in a vacuum like people are claiming. The claim that this or any president could go insane, lead the nation down some path without any resistance or by being stopped by people around him is great in a fictional book but has no place in the real world.
So, sit back and enjoy, let’s watch this president do what he was voted in to do, he knows what he is doing, is surrounded by excellent advisers, this is what causes the left to stay up and lose sleep at night and gives us comfort.