US nuclear general says would resist 'illegal' Trump strike order

"And if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm going to say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.'"

By REUTERS
November 19, 2017 12:21
2 minute read.
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump waves from Air Force One as he departs Morristown, New Jersey. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON - The top US nuclear commander was quoted as saying on Saturday that he would resist President Donald Trump if he ordered an "illegal" launch of nuclear weapons.

CBS News said Air Force General John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada that he had given a lot of thought to what he would say if he received such an order.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"I think some people think we're stupid," Hyten said in response to a question about such a scenario. "We're not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?"

CBS said Hyten, who is responsible for overseeing the US nuclear arsenal, explained the process that would follow such a command.

"As head of STRATCOM, I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do," he said.

"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 said running through scenarios of how to react in the event of an illegal order was standard practice, and added: "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life."

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hyten's remarks.

They came after questions by US senators, including Democrats and Trump's fellow Republicans, about Trump's authority to wage war, use nuclear weapons and enter into or end international agreements, amid concern that tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs could lead to hostilities.

Trump has traded insults and threats with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and threatened in his maiden United Nations address to "totally destroy" the country of 26 million people if it threatened the United States.

Some senators want legislation to alter the nuclear authority of the US president and a Senate committee on Tuesday held the first congressional hearing in more than four decades on the president's authority to launch a nuclear strike.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Leslie Cockburn
October 16, 2018
Virginia House candidate accuses opponent of hating Israel

By JTA