Top U.S. Nuclear Commander Would Have No Trouble Saying "No" to Trump

Public domain image French nuclear test at Fangataufa atoll in French Polynesia

The top U.S. nuclear commander has a message, lest anyone is confused about his role: We’re not stupid.

Nor are they pushovers.

“They” is in reference to those who oversee America’s nukes, and the message is coming from Air Force General John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM).


While speaking with an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum, in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday, he fielded a question regarding what his reaction would be, should President Trump call for a nuclear strike. In particular, he was asked how he would handle it, if he knew the order was illegal.

Hyten didn’t mince words.

“I think some people think we’re stupid. We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?” Hyten said in response.

He’s right.

I’ve actually thought myself how does one handle the weight of that decision, should it ever come, and is it automatic obedience to the Commander-in-Chief, or would there be a moment of hesitation, where consideration is given to the morality of setting those missiles flying?

Hyten was sure of his answer, and he continued.

“I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do,” Hyten explained. “And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”

Hyten added that if Trump were to “execute an unlawful order., you will go to jail,” he said. “You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”


That should comfort a lot of those who are certain Trump is going to get us in a nuclear war.

The heated rhetoric being lobbed back and forth between Trump and North Korean nutjob, Kim Jong-un has everyone rethinking bomb shelters.

Hyten said the U.S. is ready to respond to “any event that comes out of North Korea” and an unpredictable leader in Kim Jong Un. But that “the element of deterrence” has to be clear.

“President Trump by himself can’t change the behavior of Kim Jong Un,” Hyten said. “But President Trump can create the conditions that the international community can reach out in different ways where we can work with the Republic of Korea, where we can work with our neighbors in the region.”

Diplomacy. That hasn’t been shown to be Trump’s forte, as yet, but it suffices to know that Japan, South Korea, and possibly China (I’m not convinced that they’re onboard, yet) would be most willing to turn up the heat on North Korea, in order to avoid a full-scale nuclear blow out.






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