Curbing a president’s nuclear authority

By Janice Sinclaire, February 28, 2018

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

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 thebulletin.org.


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