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
What We’re Reading:
Can Congress stop a president waging nuclear war?
Bulletin editor John Mecklin with a Reuters op/ed
Science and Security board member Jon Wolfsthal in the New Republic
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 thebulletin.org.