Retired General: US Military Leaders Would Reject Nuclear First-Strike Orders

The experts testifying at the hearing said that while the protocols for nuclear weapons use give the president unilateral control when the United States is under attack from a nuclear strike, the commander in chief is far more restrained when trying to initiate a pre-emptive strike.

According to the Post, the Pentagon letter also stated that a full discussion of U.S. capabilities to "counter North Korea's ability to respond with a nuclear weapon and to eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons, located in deeply buried, underground facilities" is best suited for a classified briefing.

Corker, who has emerged as vocal critic of Trump's foreign policy, said he wanted to explore the "realities of this system" that allows the president to use nuclear weapons. "I think they can still realize that Donald Trump can launch nuclear codes just as easily as he can use his Twitter account without the check and balance of the United States Congress".

To the extent that the American people have given much thought to what a war with North Korea might entail, my guess is that most have assumed that the United States could bomb North Korea back to the Stone Age, thus finally making the world safe from that despotic regime's delusions of nuclear grandeur. "To be clear, I would not support changes that would reduce our deterrence of adversaries or reassurance of our allies".

"Many interpret that to mean that the president is actively considering the use of nuclear weapons in order to deal with the threat of North Korea".

Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, did not criticize Trump during the two-hour session, and instead framed the issue as a review of Congress' war-making authority as prescribed in the Constitution.

Gov. -elect Ralph Northam defeated Republican opponent Ed Gillespie, who had used the Trump playbook of exploiting racial differences, false immigration threats and defense of Confederate monuments, by nine points.

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Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee there were fears the president was so unstable and volatile he might order a nuclear-weapons strike.

"I would have said: I'm not ready to proceed", Kehler said.

Democrats on the committee left no doubt that Trump was their target.

'That would be a very difficult process, and a very difficult conversation, ' he added.

Just last month Corker was claiming that Trump's 'volatility is to anyone who has been around is to a degree alarming.' The retiring senator told the New York Times in an explosive interview that Trump's recklessness could put the U.S. 'on the path to World War III'.

Instead of looking to curtail the president's nuclear powers, Feaver suggested Congress should consider upgrading nuclear command and control technology, which he said has been neglected and has become outdated. "Fortunately, these are all hypothetical scenarios". The basic legal principles of military necessity, distinction and proportionally apply to nuclear weapons'.

The president would communicate his decision and transmit his authorization through a device called the nuclear football, a suitcase carried by a military aide.

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But they acknowledged that the President could overrule the advice of his advisers and order a nuclear strike if it is deemed lawful. 'Unfortunately, I cannot make those assurances today'.

"The military does not blindly follow orders", Kehler said.

Trump said the US supported efforts to end the violence, to ensure accountability for atrocities committed, and to facilitate the safe and voluntary return of the refugees.

"If we saw they were preparing to do so and it was imminent, I could imagine it", Mattis said. The victory of the Democrats of the three top statewide positions including governor, is the first good news the party has had for a long time.

In other words, that's all the Pentagon is going to say in public.

"As Gen. Kehler has described, the officers in the chain of command, the senior officers and the secretary could raise objections if they believe the order is illegal", McKeon said.

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