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

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

Robert Kehler, an ex-commander of US Strategic Command, said that in his former role he would have followed the president's order to carry out the strike - if it were legal.

Despite that dire warning, Mr Corker deliberately did not couch a hearing of the committee he chairs on presidential nuclear powers as a rebuke to Mr Trump, saying "this is not specific to anybody".

Some of the commentary which followed the Pentagon letter is that it was a not so subtle warning to President Donald Trump that there really is no acceptable military solution to the North Korean crisis.

The current process for deploying nuclear weapons "means that the president has the sole authority to give that order - whether we are responding to a nuclear attack or not", said Corker, who has vowed a series of hearings on the issue.

"We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapon strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests", Murphy said. "To be clear, I would not support changes that would reduce our deterrence of adversaries or reassurance of our allies".

The military continues to argue that with the advent of precision weapons such as cruise missiles and heavy bombers, there is less reason to use nuclear weapons.

"Every single word that has been uttered this morning at this hearing is going to be analyzed in Pyongyang", said Republican Senator Jim Risch, who is in line to become chairman after Corker retires next year.

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.

Under certain circumstances, he explained: "I would have said, 'I'm not ready to proceed'".

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He provided a copy of his prepared remarks to the White Hose reporters travelling with him aboard Air Force One on his way back home from Manila at the conclusion of his nearly two-week trip to Asia, with stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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'.

"This is a system controlled by human beings".

Other Democrat colleagues of Mr Cardin said that Mr Trump is so "volatile" it ensured such a move could not be discounted. "There are no checks on the president's authority". In developing options for North Korea, the Pentagon has a package of what it calls flexible response options, which includes ensuring US aircraft and missile launching ships are always in place if needed. Much of the Senate committee hearing was taken up by discussion of what constituted an imminent threat and who could make that determination.

'The Untied States military doesn't blindly follow orders, ' Kehler said.

During an Oct. 30 Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing, Defense Secretary James Mattis said the launch process is "extremely rigorous".

Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, said he's been receiving "more and more questions" during town hall meetings with constituents about whether the president can order a nuclear attack without any controls. But I believe congressional oversight does not equate to operational control. 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. The commander could try to override the order by sending a launch termination order, Blair said.

The panel ultimately, however, appeared to side against reining in the president's power to exercise nuclear authority.