Environmentalists Against War
Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are

 

 

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear First-stirke


February 27, 2017
Petition from Credo Action & Will Worley / The Independent

As Britain's Independent notes: 'It is a frightening reality that the US now has a Commander-in-Chief who was making sweeping statements about US nuclear policy over Twitter.' Donald Trump currently has unrestricted power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. The passage of H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would prevent him from starting a nuclear war.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/restrict_nuclear_war



ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Starting a Nuclear War
Petition from Credo Action

The petition to Congress reads:

Donald Trump currently has unrestricted power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. Support H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, to stop him from starting a nuclear war.


ACTION: To add your name, , click here.

Donald Trump has shocked the nation with his flagrant disregard for national security. While hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Florida resort, he held national security strategy sessions and received confidential security briefings while an army officer carried the "nuclear football" (1) around in plain sight and earshot of paying club members.

This behavior is not rational or safe.

Trump could start a nuclear war today. And frankly, he might. Right now, Trump has unrestricted power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will.

Fortunately, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have now introduced legislation -- the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act -- that would limit Trump's ability to launch nuclear weapons without an act of Congress. (2)

We need to let Congress know with a massive showing of public support that we are counting on them to support this legislation before it's too late. Tell Congress: Stop Trump from starting a nuclear war. Click here to sign the petition.

The Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act would require a congressional declaration of war in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack, effectively blocking Trump from starting a nuclear war on a whim or because someone hurts his feelings on Twitter.

Under the current system, the president has unchecked authority to use the thousands of nuclear weapons at his command -- a process that takes less than five minutes.

Trump has already expressed his dangerous views on the use of nuclear weapons, including a complete lack of understanding of the nuclear triad, casual threats regarding using nuclear weapons on the battlefield or to combat terrorists and a desire to be "unpredictable" in his use of nuclear weapons. (3)

Trump's first few weeks in office have been a series of horrifying demonstrations of this administration's recklessness and incompetence. Just this week he publicly handled classified information about North Korea's missile launch at his Mar-a-Largo hotel, (4) and his top national security adviser resigned in disgrace after lying about his contact with the Russian government. (5)

We cannot trust Trump to make rational or informed decisions about the safety of our country and the world. That's why we're joining with our friends at Win Without War, Daily Kos and other progressive allies to tell Congress that they must keep us safe by supporting the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act.

Trump and his dangerous cronies in the White House cannot stop himself from making bad decisions. We must pressure Congress now to take away the blank check to stop him from making the biggest one. It is time to take the "nuclear football" away from Trump. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Tell Congress: Stop Trump from starting a nuclear war. Click here to sign the petition.


Thank you for everything that you do,
Tessa Levine is the Campaign Manager for CREDO Action from Working Assets


References:
1. Kathleen Parker, "America, meet the nuclear 'football," The Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2017.

2. Emily Tamkin, "Lawmakers Introduce Bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons," Foreign Policy, Jan. 24, 2017.

3. Ibid

4. Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, "From Trump's Mar-a-Lago to Facebook, a National Security Crisis in the Open," The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2017.

5. Maggie Haberman, Matthew Rosenberg, Matt Apuzzo, and Glenn Thrush, "Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser," The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2017.


New Bill Aims to Ban Donald Trump from
First Use of Nuclear Weapons without
Congressional Declaration of War

Will Worley / The Independent

(January 25, 2017) -- Donald Trump would have to seek congressional approval if he wanted to launch a first strike with nuclear weapons, under new legislation introduced in a direct response to his election as president.

Congressman Ted Lieu and Senator Edward Markey, both referenced President's brash discussion of nuclear weapons on social media when they submitted the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.

Mr. Trump's "ignorance" of nuclear defence theory "increases the risk" of an accidental nuclear war, the Democrats said in a statement accompanying the legislation, which would forbid the President from launching a first strike with nuclear weapons without a declaration of war by Congress.

The question over the President's authority to launch nuclear weapons at very short notice was "more urgent than ever", they added.

Mr. Trump caused concern among defence experts when being briefed on nuclear weapons, when he allegedly asked why they couldn't be used if possessed by the US.

Taking to his Twitter account in December, he said the US "must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes".

The President has also threatened to "nuke Isis territory" in response to an attack.

Follow Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
8:50 AM -- 22 Dec 2016
21,324 21,324 Retweets
73,067 73,067 likes


After introducing the new bill, Senator Markey insisted that "neither President Trump, nor any other president, should be allowed to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack."

He said: "Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival. Yet, President Trump has suggested that he would consider launching nuclear attacks against terrorists. Unfortunately, by maintaining the option of using nuclear weapons first in a conflict, US policy provides him with that power."

That policy "drastically" raised the risk of unintended nuclear escalation with another nuclear-armed country, he added.

His colleague, Congressman Lieu said: "It is a frightening reality that the US now has a Commander-in-Chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be 'unpredictable' with nuclear weapons, and as President-elect was making sweeping statements about US nuclear policy over Twitter."

The nuclear triad is the method the US would use to make a nuclear attack, utilising submarines, bomber aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles fired from land.

"Congress must act to preserve global stability by restricting the circumstances under which the US would be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon," Congressman Lieu said. "Our Founders created a system of checks and balances and it is essential for that standard to be applied to the potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear war."

Despite their concerns, the new bill and it is unlikely to pass through the US Congress and Senate, both of which are controlled by Mr. Trump's Republican party.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), also highlighted potential issues with it.

He told The Independent that exerting more congressional control over the President's power to use nuclear weapons had the potential to give an enemy a strategic advantage.

"The nature of war is that it is very unpredictable," he said. "And whatever legal constraints are announced publically, a potential adversary can take those into account in calculating what they do -- if they believe those constraints are credible."

If the decision to use nuclear weapons was an urgent one, he added that there was the question about whether the President would have the luxury of consulting Congress in "what would inevitably be quite a time consuming process."

But other experts have supported the bill, including William Perry, who served as Secretary of Defence under the Clinton administration and has had a high level inside view of the government's nuclear weapons policy and procedure.

He said: "During my period as Secretary of Defence, I never confronted a situation, or could even imagine a situation, in which I would recommend that the President make a first strike with nuclear weapons -- understanding that such an action, whatever the provocation, would likely bring about the end of civilization.

"I believe that the legislation proposed by Congressman Lieu and Senator Markey recognises that terrible reality. Certainly a decision that momentous for all of civilization should have the kind of checks and balances on Executive powers called for by our Constitution."

Anti-nuclear proliferation groups also expressed support for the bill.

Derek Johnson, Executive Director of Global Zero, who work to eliminate nuclear weapons, said: "In the wake of the election, the American people are more concerned than ever about the terrible prospect of nuclear war -- and what the next commander-in-chief will do with the proverbial 'red button.'

"That such devastating power is concentrated in one person is an affront to our democracy's founding principles."


Congressman Lieu, Senator Markey Introduce the
"Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017"

Rep. Ted W. Lieu & Sen. Edward J. Markey / Press Release

WASHINGTON (January 24, 2017) -- Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) introduced H.R. 669 and S. 200, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. This legislation would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. The crucial issue of nuclear "first use" is more urgent than ever now that President Donald Trump has the power to launch a nuclear war at a moment's notice.

Upon introduction of this legislation, Mr. Lieu issued the following statement:
"It is a frightening reality that the US now has a Commander-in-Chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be 'unpredictable' with nuclear weapons, and as President-elect was making sweeping statements about US nuclear policy over Twitter. Congress must act to preserve global stability by restricting the circumstances under which the US would be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon.

Our Founders created a system of checks and balances, and it is essential for that standard to be applied to the potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear war. I am proud to introduce the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 with Sen. Markey to realign our nation's nuclear weapons launch policy with the Constitution and work towards a safer world."

Upon introduction of this legislation, Senator Markey issued the following statement:
"Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival. Yet, President Trump has suggested that he would consider launching nuclear attacks against terrorists. Unfortunately, by maintaining the option of using nuclear weapons first in a conflict, US policy provides him with that power.

In a crisis with another nuclear-armed country, this policy drastically increases the risk of unintended nuclear escalation. Neither President Trump, nor any other president, should be allowed to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack.

By restricting the first use of nuclear weapons, this legislation enshrines that simple principle into law. I thank Rep. Lieu for his partnership on this common-sense bill during this critical time in our nation's history."

Support for the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017:

William J. Perry, Former Secretary of Defense -- "During my period as Secretary of Defense, I never confronted a situation, or could even imagine a situation, in which I would recommend that the President make a first strike with nuclear weapons -- understanding that such an action, whatever the provocation, would likely bring about the end of civilization. '

I believe that the legislation proposed by Congressman Lieu and Senator Markey recognizes that terrible reality. Certainly a decision that momentous for all of civilization should have the kind of checks and balances on Executive powers called for by our Constitution."

Tom Z. Collina, Policy Director of Ploughshares Fund -- "President Trump now has the keys to the nuclear arsenal, the most deadly killing machine ever created. Within minutes, President Trump could unleash up to 1,000 nuclear weapons, each one many times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.

"Yet Congress has no voice in the most important decision the United States government can make. As it stands now, Congress has a larger role in deciding on the number of military bands than in preventing nuclear catastrophe."

Derek Johnson, Executive Director of Global Zero -- "One modern nuclear weapon is more destructive than all of the bombs detonated in World War II combined. Yet there is no check on a president's ability to launch the thousands of nuclear weapons at his command. In the wake of the election, the American people are more concerned than ever about the terrible prospect of nuclear war -- and what the next commander-in-chief will do with the proverbial 'red button.'

That such devastating power is concentrated in one person is an affront to our democracy's founding principles. The proposed legislation is an important first step to reining in this autocratic system and making the world safer from a nuclear catastrophe."

Megan Amundson, Executive Director of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) -- "Rep. Lieu and Sen. Markey have rightly called out the dangers of only one person having his or her finger on the nuclear button. The potential misuse of this power in the current global climate has only magnified this concern. It is time to make real progress toward lowering the risk that nuclear weapons are ever used again, and this legislation is a good start."

Jeff Carter, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility -- "Nuclear weapons pose an unacceptable risk to our national security. Even a "limited" use of nuclear weapons would cause catastrophic climate disruption around the world, including here in the United States. They are simply too profoundly dangerous for one person to be trusted with the power to introduce them into a conflict.

Grounded in the fundamental constitutional provision that only Congress has the power to declare war, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 is a wise and necessary step to lessen the chance these weapons will ever be used."

Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) -- "Restricting first-use of nuclear weapons is an urgent priority. Congress should support the Markey-Lieu legislation."

The Arms Control Association -- "The Arms Control Association applauds Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) for reintroducing legislation to highlight the unconstrained and undemocratic ability of the president to initiate the first-use of US nuclear weapons . . . The inauguration of President Donald Trump has heightened fears about the sole authority of the commander in chief to use nuclear weapons.

Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed deep concern about his erratic behavior and loose talk on nuclear weapons. Now is the time to put responsible checks on the use of nuclear weapons in place. Such a decision is far too important to be left in the hands of one person."

RELATED NEWS
UK's Theresa May did know about nuclear test where missile 'veered towards America'

Watch the moment Donald Trump got power over US nuclear codes

Trump has not asked 'top Nuclear officials to remain in posts'

North Korea says it will conduct nuclear ICBM test 'anytime, anywhere'

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

back

 

 

Stay Connected
Sign up to receive our weekly updates. We promise not to sell, trade or give away your email address.
Email Address:
Full Name:
 

 

Search Environmentalists Against War website

 

Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are