ACTION ALERT: Stopping the March to War with North Korea
August 12, 2017
Will Fischer / VoteVets & CREDO Mobile Petition & Emily Tamkin / Foreign Policy
The threat of military conflict with North Korea is increasing by the day. This morning, President Trump tweeted that "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. But what's really missing from this conversation is being bold about diplomatic solutions. Donald Trump currently has the power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would stop Trump from starting a nuclear war.
ACTION ALERT: Stopping the
March to War with North Korea
Will Fischer / VoteVets
(August 11, 2017) -- The threat of military conflict with North Korea is increasing by the day. This morning, President Trump tweeted that "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.
But what's really missing from this conversation -- in Congress and in the media -- is being bold about not just military solutions, but diplomatic solutions. So earlier this week, we paid for a national, scientific poll on the issue. Here's what it found:
* 82% of Americans are afraid that if the US struck North Korea militarily, they would respond by launching nuclear weapons at the US
* 75% of voters, including 68% of Republicans, want the US to exhaust all diplomatic means to avoid a war. And 86% want direct talks with North Korea.
* Only 41% of Americans approve of Trump's handling of this issue.
The American people want diplomacy, not an inevitable march to war with a nation that has nuclear capabilities.
When President Trump fired cruise missiles into Syria, members of the media and the same usual suspects in Congress watched in awe and celebration. We desperately need a counter-balance on North Korea, and VoteVets aims to provide it.
Will Fischer is an Iraq War Veteran and Director of Government Relations for VoteVets.
ACTION ALERT Stop Trump from Starting a Nuclear War
Tessa Levine / CREDO Mobile Petition
THE PETITION 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."
(August 11, 2017) -- He's at it again . . . (emphasis ours)
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." (1)
That's what Donald Trump said on Tuesday, following tweets bragging about how much he has increased the US nuclear arsenal since the election. (2). Today he doubled down on his reckless rhetoric, saying that maybe he hadn't spoken strongly enough in calling for fire and fury.
Some days it's hard to tell if he is acting out of incompetence or a true desire to drive us towards nuclear war, but the effect is the same either way. Trump is provoking Kim Jun Un, and it's working. Following Trump's statements, a North Korean official said that they are "carefully examining" plans to launch missiles at the US island territory of Guam. (3)
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. (4)
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.
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. (5)
Trump's time in office has been a series of horrifying demonstrations of this administration's recklessness and incompetence. Earlier this year, he publicly handled classified information about North Korea's missile launch at his Mar-a-Largo hotel (6) and multiple top officials and family members, including his son, are currently involved in an investigation into their countless lies throughout the campaign and presidency about their inappropriate ties with the Russian government (7).
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 has proven his shocking lack of judgment. He has filled the White House with cronies who are equally dangerous or simply spineless. He is incapable of making good decisions, so we must pressure Congress to stop him from making the worst decision of all. It is time to take the "nuclear football" away from Trump.
Click the link below to sign the petition:
Tessa Levine is Campaign Manager for CREDO Action from Working Assets.
1. Ali Vitali, "Trump Vows North Korea Threat Will Be Met With 'Fire and Fury'," NBC News, Aug. 9, 2017.
2. "North Korea seriously considering strike on Guam, state media outlet says," CNBC, Reuters, Aug. 8,2017.
3. Kathleen Parker, "America, meet the nuclear 'football," The Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2017.
4. Emily Tamkin, "Lawmakers Introduce Bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons," Foreign Policy, Jan. 24, 2017.
6. 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.
7. Maggie Haberman, Matthew Rosenberg, Matt Apuzzo, and Glenn Thrush, "Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser," The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2017.
ACTION ALERT: Lawmakers Introduce Bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons
Emily Tamkin / The Cable @ Foreign Policy
(January 24, 2017) -- Lawmakers introduced a bill in both houses of Congress Tuesday that would prevent the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a congressional declaration of war. A policy that was long debated -- but never seriously pursued -- during the Obama administration has now become anything other than abstract after the election of Donald Trump.
Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) introduced legislation meant to pry the nuclear football out of the president's hands.
"Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival. Yet, President Trump has suggested that he would consider launching nuclear attacks against terrorists," Markey said in a statement. "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."
Over the course of her campaign against President Trump, Hillary Clinton repeatedly warned that "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." It would seem Markey and Lieu agree.
Lieu, who has a paper sign reading, "Alternative Fact Free Zone" outside his office, took aim at Trump's ignorance. "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."
The bill is backed by global disarmament groups and some former US officials like William Perry, former secretary of defense. But it's still to be seen if the Republican majority House or Senate would support a bill that could be seen to undermine a Republican president, particularly given that some have already pushed to authorize more presidential military force in the form of new AUMFs.
This isn't the first mention of such legislation -- the idea of it has been mentioned on and off for years, advocated by groups such as the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
At a January event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former US Vice President Joe Biden said he is "confident we can deter and defend ourselves and our allies against non-nuclear threats through other means," adding that he "strongly believes" that "deterring and if necessary retaliating against a nuclear attack should be the sole purpose for the US nuclear arsenal."
But it's no longer academic. During the campaign, Trump made clear he had no idea what nuclear weapons the United States has, but flippantly suggested using them on the battlefield. He urged US allies in Asia like Japan and South Korea to build their own nukes, reversing decades of US policy.
In December, Trump declared, "Let it be an arms race" with Russia. And while some read this as an invitation for Russia to team up with the United States against emerging nuclear powers, there is little chance that that could in turn lead to symmetrical nuclear disarmament, which Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov has already dismissed as "totally unacceptable."
As unacceptable, as Markey and Lieu argued with their new legislation, as the sudden risk of nuclear annihilation that has in recent months settled over the globe.
The Cable is FP's real-time take on the news in Washington and the world, from inside-the-Beltway to beyond-the-pale. It's written and run by Robbie Gramer and Emily Tamkin.
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