If the President orders a nuclear attack, can the military refuse?

Given President Trump’s sometimes tumultuous relationship with many members of Congress, some elected representatives have recently attempted to narrow the scope of the President’s authority by raising the hypothetical situation of an ordered nuclear strike.

In a recent Congressional hearing, retired General C. Robert Kehler stated that even the President is limited by certain legal authorities, and the U.S. Strategic Command would have the obligation to refuse to launch nuclear weapons in the event of an illegal order.

Brian McKeon, a senior national security official under President Obama, emphasized that it would be the duty of senior military officials acting in concert with the Secretary of Defense to raise such objections:

“As Gen. Kehler has described, the officers in the chain of command, the senior officers and the secretary could raise objections if they believe the order is illegal,” McKeon said. “I think the system is designed to protect the first or second lieutenant, the 23-year-old Air Force officer sitting in a launch control center, from having to make that grave decision. It’s really the four-stars and the secretary who need to bear that burden.” Via

Recently some of the President’s opponents have depicted him as being unstable, thus driving inquiries as to what the military would do if the President ordered an “out of the blue” nuclear strike.

Read more at The Hill…

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