People need to pick up their worry sticks about Donald Trump’s stability. We thought that the generals around him would prevent the president from taking us into World War III, but it looks as if that may be wrong.
The head of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), Air Force General John Hyten, gave a speech at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia with some grim news.
Should Trump command him to launch a nuclear bomb, the general at the top of the U.S. nuclear pyramid said he would resist. Hyten said he would try to convince the president that another solution would be preferable.
The general told his Nova Scotia audience Saturday that he has given this scenario much consideration. As a result, he believes that such a strike would be considered “illegal.”
Hyten is fully responsible for the entire stock of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He said, according to CBS News:
‘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 told his listeners how such a situation would play out in the U.S., CBS reported:
‘I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do. 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 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 has taken training about the legal aspects of armed conflict year after year for decades said he has trained every year for decades. The law considers a variety of factors to make its determination. These include:
‘Necessity, distinction, proportionality, unnecessary suffering and more. Running through scenarios of how to react in the event of an illegal order is standard practice.’
Between four and five percent of North Korea’s population of 25 million is on active duty, according to a 2015 Military and Security report to the US Congress. Another 7.5 million are on standby or already in paramilitary units. That is between one-fourth and one-third of the population.
General Hyten explained the consequences of executing an illegal order, CBS reported:
‘If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life.’
Donald Trump has been upping the rhetoric against North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. That culture is deeply mired in saving face, so the president is playing with fire that could light the fuse that causes the Asian country to start a war.
North Korea has sentenced Trump to death for insulting its president, as a result of the president’s immature tweet war, according to The Guardian.
Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury” on the country and “totally destroy” it, if needed.
Congress has been reconsidering the president’s authorization for using military force to launch a preemptive nuclear strike.
Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts gave a chilling comment in a Senate hearing this week, according to CBS:
‘(Trump) can launch nuclear codes just as easily as he can use his Twitter account.’
General Hyten noted in his speech that the U.S. military is capable of responding to any military threat North Korea can send our way at any moment:
‘And we are ready every minute of every day to respond to any event that comes out of North Korea. That’s the element of deterrence that has to be clear, and it is clear.’
The head of STRATCOM said that Kim Jong Un is unpredictable. Yet, any military action should be an international endeavor.
Hyten continued, saying that the U.S. has urged China to take a strong lead in managing North Korea. China has the ability to place far greater economic restrictions on its neighbor than the rest of the world:
‘President Trump by himself can’t change the behavior of Kim Jong Un. 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.’
Featured Image via ABC News Video Screen Grab.