U.S. Nuclear Commander Explains Protocol to Contest Nuclear Strikes Ordered by the President


The top U.S. nuclear commander said there is protocol in place to contest a strike order given by a President if it were “illegal.”

The question was asked of General John Hyten at a security forum in Canada of a hypothetical situation involving President Donald Trump.

“I provide advice to the president, he’ll tell me what to do and if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen, I’m gonna say ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal’ and guess what he’s going to do?  He’s going to say ‘what would be legal?’ and we’ll come up with options of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is and that’s the way it works,” said Hyten. “It’s not that complicated.” 

General Hyten’s comments come after a Senate committee hearing was held this week on the president’s authority to launch nuclear weapons.

However Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton spoke on CBS’ Face the Nation about the matter and said the president needs to have ability to fire nuclear weapons quickly.

“We have recognized the practical reality that the president has to hold in his hands the sole decision to use our nuclear weapons,” said Cotton, R-Ark. “If there’s a first strike against the United States, the president has a matter of minutes, not hours, not days, but a matter of minutes, to make that decision. So, it simply doesn’t make sense to have congress involved in the matter.”

Cotton went on to say that America also needs to do it’s best to deter any country from launching that kind of strike.

He said President Trump’s trip to Asia last week was successful in putting pressure on Kim Jong Un in North Korea — to not use nuclear weapons.

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