DEMOCRATS have asked Joe Biden to give up his sole authority to order a nuclear strike in case he becomes “unhinged."
In a letter sent to the president on Tuesday, over thirty House Democrats warned that “vesting one person” with the power to launch a nuclear strike “entails real risks."
In the letter, penned by California Democratic Rep Jimmy Panetta, the Dems urged the commander in chief to “consider modifying the decision-making process the United States uses in its command and control of nuclear forces.”
It reads: “Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president's judgment.”
The letter appears to be referencing former President Donald Trump, whose mental state following the Capitol insurrection on January 6 sparked concern among lawmakers.
Two days after the storming of the building, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Mark Milley, about stopping an “unhinged” president from sanctioning a nuclear strike.
Speaker Pelosi said the pair discussed “available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike."
The Democrats’ letter to Biden, which was publicized on Wednesday, warns that leaders should not be allowed to make unilateral decisions on nuclear strikes.
It continues: “While any president would presumably consult with advisors before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so.
“The military is obligated to carry out the order if they assess it is legal under the laws of war.
“Under the current posture of U.S. nuclear forces, that attack would happen in minutes.”
In place of the current rules, the letter suggests that the president could obtain permission from other members in the line of succession – such as the vice president and the House speaker.
The vice president is accompanied by a nuclear football, which contains all the necessary materials to launch a nuclear strike with a specific code, when they travel.
Trump’s decision to skip Biden’s inauguration sparked “war-game” tactics as the traditional handover of the presidential nuclear codes was canceled.
Instead, the nuclear football was passed from far away – creating a serious logistical headache from military leaders.
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