Curbing the US president’s nuclear authority: What you need to know about the huge risks

Curbing the US president’s nuclear authority: What you need to know about the huge risks
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TFF believes it is of utmost importance to abolish nuclear weapons. While some may maintain that the risk that nuclear weapons will be used is small, others will argue that the consequences – no matter the risk – would be catastrophic beyond imagination and morally unacceptable and that no political goal can legitimate their use.
Therefore, its an imperative to educate ourselves about these things – the media in generally having abdicated their responsibility to provide public education about this and other controversial themes.
No matter what knowledge and opinion each of us has, there is no doubt that the risk of nuclear weapons use has increased in 2017-2018 due to a series of developments and political statements that must be judged to be grossly irresponsible and could, whether intended or not, lead to catastrophic misinterpretations, fear and panic reactions.
If you use the Search engine, look for “nuclear” in the Category search and/or click the drop down Theme menu with “N” on top, you’ll find lots of materials about these issues.
Below we reprint a literature guide from the highly respected and trustworthy journal Bulletin of the Atom Scientists – also known for it so-called Doomsday Clock.
We consider this – and the other materials we provide here – essential, trustworthy reading for concerned citizens, students at high-schools and universities and – for sure – also for media and politicians.
– Jan Oberg


By Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Janice Sinclaire

Since the election of President Donald Trump, a great deal of anxiety and attention has been aimed at a US president’s authority to order the use of nuclear weapons.

But policy experts who study the nuclear chain of command have long expressed concerns, with many advocating for checks on that power.
Is sole authority over nuclear weapons necessary for nuclear stability?

Here’s what you need to know:

How a nuclear attack order is carried out now
Lisbeth Gronlund, David Wright

How to limit presidential authority to order the use of nuclear weapons
Lisbeth Gronlund, David Wright, Steve Fetter

A reminder from Hawaii
Lauren Borja, M.V. Ramana

What America can learn from Hawaii’s mistake
Karthika Sasikumar

The “football”


What We’re Reading:

Duke University’s Peter Feaver on the president and US nuclear command and control

Reconsidering the nuclear demigod called Mr. President

A Republican senator calls a hearing on a Republican president’s nuclear weapons authority

Eric Schlosser on Trump’s tweets and nuclear war

Can Congress stop a president waging nuclear war?
Bulletin editor John Mecklin with a Reuters op/ed

Rocket men
Science and Security board member Jon Wolfsthal in the New Republic


Bonus reads:

What you need to know about the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

The 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement.

Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons: Is it Legal? Is it Constitutional? Is it Just?
The Bulletin‘s Kennette Benedict and Hugh Gusterson participated in a November 4th conference at Harvard University.
Watch a 6-minute video summary, and read the transcript of the day’s remarks at Public Books.

Get informed about the issues that matter at

Illustration Credit
The art work on top is created by Doug Chayka. See many more of his amazing illustrations here.
It is reposted from the article above, “Rocket Men” in the New Republic.

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