Trump's nuclear capabilities could be under threat
Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Ted Lieu are pushing US officials to limit the new President’s nuclear powers having long opposed the country’s first strike policy.
The first strike policy allows the US to act first in a US conflict, and the bill introduced on Tuesday would only allow Trump to launch an attack if Congress made a declaration of war.
It is a frightening reality that the U.S. 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 nu
Congressman Ted Lieu
In a statement, Senator Markey 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.”
California Representative Ted Lieu is among those leading plans to limit Trump's nuclear powers
Lieu released his own statement, supporting Markey’s assertions.
The statement read: “It is a frightening reality that the U.S. 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.
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Russia is estimated to have around 7,300 nuclear warheads. Of these, an estimated 1,790 are strategically deployed.
“Our Founders created a system of checks and balances, and it is essential for that standard to be applied to the potentially civilisation-ending threat of nuclear war.”
Markey and Lieu first tried to introduce the bill in September last year following Trump’s comments during his victorious election campaign, but now he is in the White House the pair are trying to act fast to push the bill through Congress.
During a presidential debate in September, Trump rescinded his offer to give up the option of launching the first strike, first claiming: “I would certainly not do first strike” before quickly adding: “At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can't take anything off the table.”
Markey also claimed the current US nuclear policy increases potential nuclear escalation.
North Korea have made repeated nuclear threats to the US in recent weeks
He said: “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.”