The U.S. election and a Capitol riot have brought dangerous “nuclear football” into people’s sight again.
Unlike what is hidden in “nuclear football” in the past, this time, people are more concerned about whether Trump, who is “very unstable” mental state, will press the nuclear button and put the world in danger.
Speaker Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives said on January 8 that she had communicated with senior Pentagon to ensure that the emotionally unstable President Trump could not launch a nuclear strike in the last ten days of his term.
Some American media speculate that after the failure of the impact on Congress, press the nuclear button or become Trump’s next choice. What’s more worrying is that Trump’s recent mental state is “very unstable”.
On January 8, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Perry and Tom Corina, chairman of the Nuclear Arms Control Organization, wrote on the politician’s website, calling the mechanism “obsolete, unnecessary and extremely dangerous” and urging President-elect Biden to reform the existing mechanism and stop giving the president no more absolute power to control the country’s nuclear weapons.
Force. At the same time, the article called for Biden to retire from “nuclear football” after taking the oath of office on January 20, and to ensure that the United States will no longer entrust the most powerful killing machine ever to a person who can make mistakes.
Horrible “nuclear football”
Now, where the President of the United States goes, there must be an officer with a very eye-catching leather bag, which is a “nuclear button suitcase”, also known as “Nuclear Football”.
“Nuclear Football” is an executive part of the American nuclear forces, which began to be designed and equipped under Kennedy’s administration.” The shell of nuclear football is made of titanium alloy, weighing about 18 kilograms, equipped with compound password locks, and equipped with satellite communication equipment, which can be directly contacted by the United States Strategic Command.
In addition, there are also emergency broadcast content flow manuals after the implementation of the nuclear strike, the preset strike plan and strike target code book – the “Black Book” (which contains detailed records of 12,500 targets in the Soviet Union during the most tense period of the Cold War), the security authorization manual, identification cards and other items.
The President of the United States can use “nuclear football” to issue nuclear bomb launch instructions from anywhere on the earth. If the president decides to order a nuclear strike, he usually consults the top commander of the army to make the corresponding choice.
In “Nuclear Football”, the president will formalize the options and use his own unique password card (called “cookies”) to prove his identity, that is, the president will authorize a nuclear strike.
Finally, the directive will be issued directly to the U.S. Strategic Command, and the relevant personnel will execute the launch order after confirmation.
It is reported that from the president’s decision to the missile ignition, the reaction time of land-based nuclear missiles may take only two minutes, while that of strategic submarines will take about 15 minutes.
The “embarrassment” brought by Trump
At present, the U.S. Constitution gives the President the only power to launch nuclear weapons, which Congress cannot interfere with. Whether the Pentagon’s top or even civilians agree or not, the president’s orders must be passed on.
And the “foot nuclear ball” and related procedures make the launch of nuclear bombs the patent of the President of the United States.
Objectively speaking, the president’s control of the right to launch has played a great positive role in history.
After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan that year, then-President Truman submitted a speech to Congress on atomic energy on October 3, 1945 to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of the military, calling for the enactment of domestic and international laws on atomic energy, emphasizing in particular that “the first and most urgent step is to formulate “Domestic policy to achieve the control, use and development of atomic energy within the United States”.
On August 1, 1946, President Truman signed the Atomic Energy Act, which stipulates that no atomic bombs can be dropped unless authorized by the President himself, which also marked the final formation of the American atomic energy civilian control mechanism. Later, under the background of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the first Berlin Crisis and the Korean War appeared successively.
In these two conflicts, the U.S. military repeatedly requested that the use of the atomic bomb be handed over to the military, but the atomic civilian control mechanism has successfully withstood the test, and the atomic bomb has not been used in both conflicts. Therefore, the role of the cautious and rational attitude of Truman’s civilian government is worth affirming.
But Trump’s appearance has put the American atomic civilian control mechanism in an awkward situation. Although the world has long been surprised by the various ” mavericks” during Trump’s presidency, his actions after the election results have surprised the whole world.
Recently, Trump repeatedly encouraged supporters to gather in Washington to hold large-scale protests to veto the election results, which led to violent shocks in the U.S. Congress, causing many deaths and injuries.
Such farce not only makes the “democracy” once proud of the United States become a laughingstock, but also makes the nuclear arms control mechanism of the United States question.
Some analysts believe that Trump’s behavior of “destructing democracy and disenfranchising millions of voters” shows his extreme incompetence and lack of judgment in promoting the public interest, so it is almost difficult to believe that he can deal with the nuclear bomb issue.
And as his political life is coming to an end, Trump’s words about the possibility of using nuclear weapons to escalate the confrontation between the United States and other major powers are endless.
Is it practical to share the “core button”?
In view of the above concerns, the relevant parties may have taken the necessary measures at present. In fact, strictly speaking, Trump can’t “cover the sky with one hand” in the launch of nuclear weapons.
According to the procedure, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command has the right to judge whether the president’s spirit is normal after receiving the launch order.
If he finds that the president’s mentally abnormal, he has the right to refuse the president’s request. When rejecting the President’s request, it is obliged to inform the President of what established procedures are still needed to launch a nuclear bomb.
On January 8th local time, the official website of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives released a letter from Pelosi to Democrats that day, which mentioned that she discussed with Chairman Millie of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about Trump’s control of nuclear weapons, who had assured her that there were currently appropriate protection measures to prevent Trump’s orders. Use nuclear weapons.
In this article, Perry and Corina believe that anyone who sees the congressional riots will feel that the President of the United States is “insanity”, which is not only a threat to democracy, but also a threat to the survival of mankind, and further calls for reform of the U.S. nuclear weapons policy:
- 1. Change the decision-making power from one president to the president and multiple “selected members”;
- 2. The United States undertakes not to be the first to use nuclear weapons;
- 3. Decommissioned land-based silo ballistic missiles.
However, it should also be noted that although the timing of Perry and Corina’s choice this time is arguably appropriate, Biden is also more active in the field of nuclear arms control than Trump (During the campaign, Biden vowed to overthrow part of the foreign policy formulated during Trump’s term and made it clear that he would seek to extend the “new START”. ), but it is obviously impractical to share the “nuclear button” and even make the United States promise not to use nuclear weapons first.
The effectiveness of civilian governance and maintaining a strong nuclear arsenal is one of the basic principles that the United States has long adhered to. The United States has always stressed that accepting the principle of no-first-use nuclear weapons will make the United States not be the first to use nuclear weapons when its vital interests or the vital interests of allies are harmed, but increase the risk of using nuclear weapons.
At the same time, some American experts also questioned that the nuclear weapon launch procedure gave only one U.S. president the authority to issue orders. If Milly and other senior U.S. military officials actually take effective “safeguards”, it would be tantamount to a coup.
Therefore, it can be judged that although the relevant nuclear policy of the United States may change after Biden took office, the possibility of a sharp turn in this field, such as Perry and others, is still very low.