Congressional Democrats are playing a very dangerous game. They’re trying to tie the hands of President Donald Trump in the direst of strategic scenarios. The very most important aspect of being President is the defense of our nation.
Two bone-headed Democrats are grandstanding for attention over their introduction of a very dangerous bill before Congress. The bill has no chance of passing, and if it did, President Trump would surely veto it. There are not near enough votes for the bill to pass in the first place, and even more remote that enough support could be garnered to override a veto.
Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) introduced H.R. 669 and S. 200, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. This legislation would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. The crucial issue of nuclear “first use” is more urgent than ever now that President Donald Trump has the power to launch a nuclear war at a moment’s notice.
Congressman Lieu issued the following statement:
“It is a frightening reality that the U.S. now has a Commander-in-Chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be ‘unpredictable’ with nuclear weapons, and as President-elect was making sweeping statements about U.S. nuclear policy over Twitter. Congress must act to preserve global stability by restricting the circumstances under which the U.S. would be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon. Our Founders created a system of checks and balances, and it is essential for that standard to be applied to the potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear war. I am proud to introduce the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 with Sen. Markey to realign our nation’s nuclear weapons launch policy with the Constitution and work towards a safer world.”
Congressman Markey Issued the following statement:
“Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival. Yet, President Trump has suggested that he would consider launching nuclear attacks against terrorists. Unfortunately, by maintaining the option of using nuclear weapons first in a conflict, U.S. policy provides him with that power. In a crisis with another nuclear-armed country, this policy drastically increases the risk of unintended nuclear escalation. Neither President Trump, nor any other president, should be allowed to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack. By restricting the first use of nuclear weapons, this legislation enshrines that simple principle into law. I thank Rep. Lieu for his partnership on this common-sense bill during this critical time in our nation’s history.”
The Congress has the authority to declare war. That’s it. As we were shown at Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we can most certainly be attacked when not in a declared war. Donald Trump was elected President, the loud mouthed, cry baby left, best get over it. He been entrusted with the job by the people, he’s sworn to protect.
ICBM Submarine Launch
The U.S. and Russia keep hundreds of missiles armed with thousands of nuclear warheads on high-alert, ready to launch with only a few minutes warning. High-alert status permits the launch a retaliatory nuclear strike before the arrival of a perceived nuclear attack.
Early Warning Systems, high-alert nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, and nuclear command and control systems, all working together, provide the U.S. and Russia the capability to Launch-on-Warning.
When Early Warning Systems warn of an impending nuclear attack, then decisions must be made very quickly because the flight times of the missiles are very short. 30 minutes or less are required for a nuclear-armed land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) to travel between the U.S. and Russia and vice versa; 15 minutes or less for a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) to reach its target.
Thus, once the attack is detected, evaluated and passed up the chain of command, the U.S. and Russian president would have at most 12 minutes to make the decision to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike before the arrival of the perceived attack.
In the event an attack is believed to be real, the president must decide whether to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike before the arrival of the perceived attack is confirmed by nuclear detonations. To launch a retaliatory nuclear strike based only upon electronic information derived from Early Warning Systems is to Launch-on-Warning. If the perceived warning turns out to be false but a retaliatory nuclear strike has already been launched, then accidental nuclear war will have occurred.
On 26 September 1983, the nuclear early warning system of the Soviet Union reported the launch of multiple USAF Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles from bases in the United States. These missile attack warnings were correctly identified as a false alarm by Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defense Forces.
The World Is A Very Dangerous Place
This decision is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack based on erroneous data on the United States and its NATO allies, which would have probably resulted in nuclear war and the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Investigation of the satellite warning system later confirmed that the system had malfunctioned.
The moral of that story is that human judgement saved the day. The dropping of atomic bombs on Japan in WWII was done in a declared war, but it was a first, and second, strike. It’s impossible to predict the future. Our President cannot be hamstrung during a sudden crisis.
You cannot tell adversaries and potential enemies what you will and won’t do in war. Donald Trump has said that. Sun Tzu said it in 512 BC. The very fact that bill is even being introduced sends out the wrong message.
Donald Trump does not want to use nuclear weapons. He wants to protect the American people and knows full well the potential consequences of such an action, but he also won’t take any cards off the table. That would create a less safe world.