When does Donald Trump get the nuclear codes – and how easy is it for him to use them?
The worst has happened – Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States.Donald Trump get the nuclear codes and how easy to use.
The man who gets outraged by a tweet now has the responsibilty for authorising the use of nuclear weapons.
It’s such a frightening situation it was raised by his opponent Hillary Clinton during the campaign.
Trump has vehemently denied he would recklessly launch nuclear action.
But the question remains; when does he get the nuclear codes and how easy is it for him to use them?
According to the Washington Post, a military aide must stay close to the US President at all times carrying a briefcase known as the ‘nuclear football’.
It contains a book known as ‘the biscuit’ which contains a list of strike options, a list of secure bunkers where the president can be sheltered; instructions for using the Emergency Broadcast System; and a 3-by-5-inch card with authentication codes for the president to confirm his identity.
Bruce G. Blair, a research scholar at Princeton told Bloomberg: “The commander-in-chief’s power is clear: He or she has sole authority to use nuclear weapons.
“‘Before initiating military action, the president convenes a conference with military and civilian advisers in Washington. If travelling, the President is patched in on a secure line. The consultation lasts as long as the president wishes, but if enemy missiles are heading toward the U.S. and the president must order a counterstrike, the consultation may last just 30 seconds.”
Trump would use the ‘biscuit’ card to authorise his identity then order a launch.
They would be sent to military crews who would check them against sealed codes from the National Security Agency – and then they would launch.
Pete Metzger was one of five alternating officers who carried the ‘football’ for during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
He told CNN recently he had to undergo “a very, very extensive background check.”
The President has no such checks.
“The president has supreme authority to decide whether to use America’s nuclear weapons. Period. Full stop,” said the Arms Control Association’s Kingston Reif.
America currently has around 900 nuclear warheads that are around 10 to 20 times more powerful than the weapons that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There’s a sobering thought for you.