The image of Donald Trump with the nuclear codes is one that has driven the calmest amongst us to distraction. On Saturday 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. Here are the highlights. Business Insider:
- Air Force General John Hyten told an audience in Halifax, Canada, that he would resist an “illegal” order from President Donald Trump to launch a nuclear attack.
- Hyten said the military is not “stupid,” and is well aware of its responsibility to abide by the laws of armed conflict.
- Hyten said if he were given an illegal order, he would tell the president it was against the law and the two would then work to find a legal option.
Hyten went on to describe his role and what he would tell Trump.
“As head of STRATCOM, I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do,” Hyten 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.”
I don’t think the part about Trump saying, “What would be legal,” is accurate because Trump doesn’t care about such trivial distinctions, but other than that, hopefully the man is right. In any event, I like the General’s attitude — resist Trump.