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NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: Ammo
Date: October 11, 2017 10:27PM
This is the best idea I've heard in about the last 30 years. Most people don't seem to have the foggiest idea what a nightmare a nuclear war would be.

"Mr. Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike. Congress Can Change That.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD OCT. 11, 2017

The broad debate over President Trump’s fitness for the difficult and demanding office he holds has recently been reframed in a more pointed and urgent way: Does he understand, and can he responsibly manage, the most destructive nuclear arsenal on earth?

The question arises for several reasons. He has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. He has reportedly pressed for a massive buildup in the American nuclear arsenal, which already contains too many — 4,000 — warheads. And soon he will decide whether to sustain or set a course to possibly unravel the immensely important Iran nuclear deal.

Doubts about his competency were reinforced this week by Senator Bob Corker, who charged that Mr. Trump was treating his office like “a reality show” with reckless threats that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.” Mr. Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, says he is relying on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, to help “separate our country from chaos.” That is a searing indictment, and Mr. Corker is no garden-variety legislator; as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he is a respected, and largely responsible, voice on national security issues.

Further, NBC News now reports that Mr. Tillerson judged Mr. Trump a “moron” after a July 20 meeting in which Mr. Trump, apparently distressed that the arsenal has declined since the Cold War, said he wanted a nearly tenfold increase in weapons.

Mr. Trump’s policy pronouncements during the campaign betrayed either profound ignorance or dangerous nonchalance: At one point he wondered why America had nuclear weapons if it didn’t use them; at another he suggested that Japan and South Korea, which have long lived under the American security umbrella, should develop their own nuclear weapons. But nothing he said has been quite as unsettling as his recent tweetstorms about North Korea, his warnings of “fire and fury” and his quip about “the calm before the storm.”

Many have hoped, and still hope, that Mr. Trump’s aggressive posture is mostly theater, designed to slake his thirst for attention, keep adversaries off guard and force changes in their behavior by words alone. But there is no underlying strategy to his loose talk, and whatever he means by it, Congress has been sufficiently alarmed to consider legislation that would bar the president from launching a first nuclear strike without a declaration of war by Congress. It wouldn’t take away the president’s ability to defend the country.

That’s a sound idea, and could be made stronger with a requirement that the secretaries of defense and state also approve any such decision. As things stand now, the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, passed when there was more concern about trigger-happy generals than elected civilian leaders, gives the president sole control. He could unleash the apocalyptic force of the American nuclear arsenal by his word alone, and within minutes."



Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination.

"The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow." Jim Hightower
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: bfd
Date: October 11, 2017 10:56PM
Three strikes and he's out. Seriously. He's already got two.
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: steve...
Date: October 11, 2017 11:00PM
Congress can't pass a law fast enough if you ask me. Since Corker made his remarks, there's been increasing talk of Trumpo's incompetence and general unraveling.



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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 12, 2017 12:01AM
So he'd ring up the guys with the launch lever, bypassing Mattis and all generals, and they'd just "have" to know it was or wasn't a hoax? Or that 45 was or wasn't insane? Gotta be more to it than that.
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: October 12, 2017 12:34AM
Let's see the congress get its ass in gear and pass something. They did it with Terry Sciavo.
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 12, 2017 06:04AM
Quote
Dennis S
Let's see the congress get its ass in gear and pass something. They did it with Terry Sciavo.

Yes, but that was a matter of life and death.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: October 12, 2017 07:26AM

But the Romulans have a cloaking device!





Roy Moore told me!
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: October 12, 2017 08:03AM
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 12, 2017 08:27AM
I would NOT do that. I will say that if Congress believes he's incompetent, IMPEACH the bastahd !
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: Acer
Date: October 12, 2017 09:23AM
Sorry, they need him in office to sign a tax break deal first. Then we can worry about thermonuclear war. Priorities! Women and stock funds first!
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 12, 2017 10:06AM
Either Trump or Pence would sign whatever a Republican majority can craft. Congress does NOT need Trump for anything. I'd wager they'd far prefer Pence.
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Re: NYT editorial calls for limits on a president's right to first strike
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: October 12, 2017 10:29AM
Congress would certainly prefer Pence, as he is not a cult of personality (even if it's in one's own mind).
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