Top US nuclear commander would resist 'illegal' launch of nuclear weapons

US army says nuclear launch order can be refused

Hyten's remarks come after both speculation about the president's mental state and the ongoing possibility of some kind of nuclear exchange between the US and North Korea, which has already developed nuclear weapons but is still developing longer-range missiles to launch them on. There are backup procedures and backups for the backups.

"If it's illegal, guess what's going to happen. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?" he said.

By interesting, he seemed to mean puzzling.

He'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? "This is a very serious subject", said Hyten, "And the world is a very unsafe place right now". The implication is that one way or another, the commander in chief would not be thwarted.

While a top US nuclear military commander made global headlines over the weekend after he stated plainly on Saturday that he would resist any order from President Donald Trump that he deemed "illegal", including an unlawful directive to carry out a nuclear strike, experts warn that individual objections such as that could be overcome by a commander-in-chief determined to launch an attack. Hyten also predicted that the president would then ask him for options that Hyten judged to be legal. While Hyten is correct that he and other senior defense officials would have the opportunity to consult on any launch if the president followed protocol, per Slate, the actual formal chain of command for nuclear launches is direct from the president to a one-star general at the National Military Command Center.

As the Washington Post emphasized, once it gets to that one-star general, determining what is or is not an illegal order is not really a launch officers' prerogative.

He added: "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail".

Last month, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Republican chairman, Senator Bob Corker, accused the president of setting the USA "on a path to World War Three". Ottinger said he wanted to "eliminate the prospect that human ignorance and potential human failure in the use of nuclear materials, especially nuclear weapons, will lead to the destruction of civilization".

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"US nuclear forces operate under strict civilian control".

'We are ready every minute of every day to respond to any event that comes out of North Korea, ' he said on Saturday. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut.

The committee chairman, Sen. But he, too, has publicly questioned whether Trump's aggressive rhetoric toward North Korea and other countries could lead the US into a world war.

James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, saw politics at play.

Members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee called into question a decades-old presidential authority to deploy nuclear weapons.

"President Trump by himself can't change the behavior of Kim Jong Un", Hyten said.

Some of them expressed concern that President Donald Trump might irresponsibly order such a strike.

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