New Bill Aims to Ban Donald Trump from First Use of Nuclear Weapons

New Bill Aims to Ban Donald Trump from First Use of Nuclear Weapons

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US president Donald Trump would have to seek congressional approval if he wanted to launch a first strike with nuclear weapons, under new legislation introduced in a direct response to his election as president.

Congressman Ted Lieu and Senator Edward Markey, both referenced President’s brash discussion of nuclear weapons on social media when they submitted the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.

Trump's “ignorance” of nuclear defense theory “increases the risk” of an accidental nuclear war, the Democrats said in a statement accompanying the legislation, which would forbid the President from launching a first strike with nuclear weapons without a declaration of war by Congress.

The question over the US President’s authority to launch nuclear weapons at very short notice was “more urgent than ever”, they added. 

Trump caused concern among defense experts when being briefed on nuclear weapons, when he allegedly asked why they couldn’t be used if possessed by the US, The Independent reported.

Taking to his Twitter account in December, he said the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.

The President has also threatened to “nuke Daesh territory” in response to an attack.

After introducing the new bill, Senator Markey insisted that “neither President Trump, nor any other president, should be allowed to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack."

He 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.”

That policy “drastically” raised the risk of unintended nuclear escalation with another nuclear-armed country, he added.

His colleague, Congressman Lieu said: “It is a frightening reality that the US 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.”

The nuclear triad is the method the US would use to make a nuclear attack, utilizing submarines, bomber aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles fired from land.

“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," Congressman Lieu said. "Our Founders created a system of checks and balances and it is essential for that standard to be applied to the potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear war.”

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