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Politics House Democrats ask Biden to surrender unilateral nuclear launch powers

22:51  25 february  2021
22:51  25 february  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera © Provided by Washington Examiner

House Democrats are asking President Biden to share his unilateral ability to launch nuclear weapons.

In a letter to the president, Reps. Ted Lieu and Jimmy Panetta, accompanied by nearly 30 colleagues, argued that "vesting one person with this authority entails real risks."

"While any president would presumably consult with advisors before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so," read the letter dated Monday. "The military is obligated to carry out the order if they assess it is legal under the laws of war. Under the current posture of U.S. nuclear forces, that attack would happen in minutes."

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The letter singled out former President Donald Trump for criticism, citing his Twitter feud with North Korea's Kim Jong Un and conduct during the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot as "behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president's judgment."

The lawmakers proposed several alternatives to the current protocol, such as requiring approval from additional members in the presidential line of succession, a congressional declaration of war, or certification from the secretary of defense.

The letter prompted outcry from congressional Republicans, with Reps. Liz Cheney, Mike Rogers, and Michael Turner condemning the proposal in a joint statement released Wednesday.

“The President of the United States must have the exclusive ability to command and control our nuclear deterrent. Democrats’ dangerous efforts suggesting a restructuring of our nuclear command and control process will undermine American security, as well as the security of our allies," they said. "These proposals, if enacted, would leave Americans vulnerable, destabilize the nuclear balance, and shake our allies’ confidence in the nuclear umbrella."

The Democrats' letter celebrated Biden's "distinguished record and leadership on nuclear arms control and nonproliferation as senator and vice president." Having campaigned vigorously on a pledge to return the United States to international agreements aimed at reducing nuclear proliferation, particularly the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, Biden has begun laying the groundwork for a U.S. return to the agreement.

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A senior State Department official said on Feb. 18 that the U.S. is ready "to sit down [with the European Union high representative] and to start what could be a prolonged path of trying to get back to a situation where both the U.S. and Iran were back into compliance."

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Representatives for the White House did not immediately reply to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.

Tags: News, House Democrats, Joe Biden, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Proliferation

Original Author: Carly Roman

Original Location: House Democrats ask Biden to surrender unilateral nuclear launch powers

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usr: 1
This is interesting!