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For first time in 40 years, Congress debates USA president's nuclear power

15 November 2017

Murphy asserted that the reason for the hearing was to discuss what would happen if Trump chose to use nuclear weapons.

This was the first time either the Senate or House Foreign Relations Committee has addressed the issue of presidential authority to use nuclear weapons since 1976.

Marco Rubio, who ran against Trump in the Republican presidential primary a year ago, was among lawmakers who were quick to point out that the hearing should not be taken as a reduced US nuclear posture. "Unfortunately, I can not make that assurance today".

Trump has used both confrontational and conciliatory language on North Korea in recent days.

"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 strike that is wildly out of step with USA national security interests", said Sen.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on Tuesday that he's concerned President Donald Trump is "so unstable, so volatile" that he may fire off a nuclear attack that would be "wildly out of step" with US national security interests.

Former administration officials warned Tuesday changing the law to prevent the current administration from doing something rash could dramatically backfire.

"We are concerned that the president is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with United States national-security interests", Mr Murphy said in Congress.

"It has implications for the deterrent, it has implications for the extended deterrent, .it has implications for our own military men and women", said retired Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command from 2011 to 2013.

"I don't think the assurances I've received today will be satisfying to the American people, I think they can still realize that Donald Trump can launch nuclear codes just as easily as he can use his Twitter account without a check and balance".

When the military wakes the president, there is a significant possibility of an imminent strike and the president must quickly decide whether or not to deploy a nuclear counterstrike.

The best measure to secure the "Nuclear Triad" - the land, air and sea-based options for delivering a nuclear strike - may not be legislating the president's nuclear authority, Feaver said, but improving the nuclear chain of command's human capital and training.

Only three other Democrats have co-sponsored it.

Between all three counties, that's more than 1,900 nuclear warheads. "That is frightening. And as the chairman pointed out, based on my understanding of the nuclear command and control protocols, there are no checks - no checks - on the president's authority". Corker has since been working with Sens. "But I believe that congressional oversight does not equate to operational control". James E. Risch (R-Idaho) said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing was chaired by Sen.

"Doesn't it also suggest it's important for the commander in chief to also be cautious in how he talks about this issue so there is not a miscalculation on the part of our aggressors who would do us harm about what the real intent here is?" Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

For first time in 40 years, Congress debates USA president's nuclear power