Democrats want Biden to give up sole authority to launch codes

Jump to Last Post 1-2 of 2 discussions (33 posts)
  1. Readmikenow profile image94
    Readmikenowposted 2 years ago

    Is this about getting K Harris in the White House?

    "About three dozen House Democrats have signed a letter asking President Biden to renounce his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, according to reports.

    A promise from the president to give up his nuclear capabilities as commander in chief could take the same power away from future presidents." … pabilities

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      "Rule by committee" is popular with politicians; they all want a hand in all decisions.

      That there are times when that concept is doomed to utter failure is irrelevant, they still want it.  This is one such time; for a committee to have to meet, discuss, squabble and only then decide whether or not to respond to an attack is foolish in the extreme.  If we don't trust our President to do his job then we made a bad decision.

      Of course, the opposing political party will always say it was a bad decision.

    2. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think that it is a good idea to give any President sole authority with launch codes.

      1. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I think I recall that our window of opportunity to respond to a nuclear missile attack is probably around 15 minutes, but could be as short as 6 minutes.

        How else would you have that authority determined? I agree with Wilderness, this shouldn't be a committee decision.


        1. Credence2 profile image79
          Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah, this true, I thought that it was around 30 minutes. But, ok, I see your point. It is just an awesome responsibility in the hands of one man.

          1. GA Anderson profile image91
            GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            es, it is an awesome responsibility. But, if we can believe media and documentary presentations, there is an immediate avenue for a president to receive advice and recommendations, it is just that it is the president's job to make the final—and immediate, decision. I don't think it should be otherwise.


            1. lobobrandon profile image88
              lobobrandonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              The president can very well be compromised (mental or otherwise) and all I know of this subject (the call for a change in process) is through this forum thread. If the democrats are asking for this it is very likely because they do not want future Presidents to have sole authority. It is most likely not a play to give Harris power but to prevent a future president such as Trump from being able to have complete control. Everyone saw how authoritarian some things could get.

              You are right that a quick response is necessary. The president needs the chief of the army to carry out this action, right? I am not sure if the chief of army is the right word but I guess you guys know what I mean. In that case don't you think it is wise that you also need his or her approval to get it done? If that does not happen then the VP should have a say and if these two say it must be done then the Chief of army has no further say.

              We all know that the President and VP need not have any defense or diplomatic knowledge but the chief of army is definitely going to be well informed on the subject. So, having this person have a slight say is not such a bad idea.

              Unless I am wrong in thinking that the president can choose to launch the weapons right now if he chooses to do so. In that case ignore what I've said.

              1. GA Anderson profile image91
                GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I am working from memory here, (others can Google it), but I think there is a process that requires concurrence from another party, (your "chief of army" ?), in the form of entry of a second set of confirming codes—before the president's order can be transmitted as legit. I am pretty sure it is not just a case of opening the 'football', entering one code, and pushing a button.

                I think it is probably best described as the president having the final decision but not the sole decision.


                1. lobobrandon profile image88
                  lobobrandonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  I do know that others have to enter their codes too, but I was wondering whether they "have to" when the President gives the order. They can of course chose not to, but does that mean they are replaced or worse imprisoned? Is this what you mean by the final decision?

                  1. GA Anderson profile image91
                    GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Yep, it is. Meaning that if one person refuses, there may be a reason, such as presidential mental disability, that would probably stop others from jumping in to replace the dissenter. A sort-of failsafe maybe?


                2. Readmikenow profile image94
                  Readmikenowposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  I think the interesting point is there are Democrats who doubt Biden's judgment...and admit to it in public.  I wonder what is their motivation.

                  1. lobobrandon profile image88
                    lobobrandonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    As I said, their motivation is very likely the prevention of "future" presidents misusing their power. The wise learn from history and Trump has thought most Americans a lot.

                  2. GA Anderson profile image91
                    GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    That is a point I am hearing a lot from Republican-leaning sources.  *Shrug, I have also heard it explained as a move by the more Leftist Democrats, (ie. The Squad), to  'Democrocize' the process—as in rule by committee.

                    If I had to pick, I would favor the latter explanation. I don't think the Democrats would hand their opponents such a club as the conservative explanation when their guy is in office.


    3. Sharlee01 profile image80
      Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I think personally President Biden should require the consent of other top officials before he can order the launch of nuclear weapons. I will be honest --- I have said this on numerous occasions here on HP's I feel he MAY be having problems with confusion. I think these House Democrats are being wise to ask for this change in policy. It certainly makes me more comfortable.

      This stood out to me in the article you offered -- "Panetta's office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News. The congressman said in a Monday tweet that he is "calling on" Biden "to install checks [and] balances in our nuclear command-and-control structure.

      The letter continues: "While any president would presumably consult with advisors before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so. 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."

      Hey, couldn't hurt.

    4. Kyler J Falk profile image89
      Kyler J Falkposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      In short, no, it isn't about Kamala in any way, shape, or form.

      At most, I'd say it is nuclear authority lobbyists trying to keep the idea fresh in everyone's mind that we have warheads, and lots of them. It is, in all honesty, discussed more openly every time we have a left-identifying POTUS.

      Remember Russian nuclear-armed trains during the Obama era? Boy, did those nuclear trains sure come to fruition....

      Let us not also forget that the reporting on the regular border incursions goes up as left-identifying individuals hold the position of POTUS, such as Russian bombers breaching our coastal borders. I don't know why such a trend exists, but it is there regardless of how frequent and normal such incursions are regardless of who is POTUS.

      tl,dr: It's all talk, and the real motivation is anyone's guess. My personal opinion is that the POTUS, and those generals who confirm launch commands outside of a MAD situation, should be of such sound mind and body that the decision needn't be questioned by anyone on the outside of making those decisions. Obama was the last president I would've said I trusted with that decision.

      Typically, I trust the military to hold on to long-term preservation as a foundational moral, and I like to believe they won't launch even if a first strike were to occur, not without some level of deliberation with the intelligence community. Just look at our exchanges with Japan at our entry into WWII, the military tries to reduce casualties to the best of their ability even if it seems like the wrong decision to moral-extremists.

      You can't beat the enemy if you all die, and there is nothing sweeter than getting your enemy to break beneath your boot. Politicians and generals alike understand this deeper than anyone.

    5. Ken Burgess profile image79
      Ken Burgessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I would rather have them find a way of limiting the President's ability to wage war in general.

      The ability to react to a crisis where nukes are concerned is a "evil" responsibility only a select few should have access to.

      But the President's ability to order troops around without anyone's permission, conduct clandestine operations to create the excuse for war, or bomb another nation, like Biden just did to Syria, without giving proof of need to Congress in advance is just wrong.

      Most of us (with eyes open) knew the war efforts were going to get renewed as soon as Trump was out, Biden = Establishment.

      Establishment =  the Military-Industrial Complex, Oil/Energy Corporations, among other things.

      1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
        Kyler J Falkposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Making congress privy to every single exchange we have with foreign forces, especially considering they aren't military or intelligence operatives, would be an extreme risk. I mean, shit, they can't even have a personal conversation in their private offices without it getting leaked, let alone a time-sensitive military operation.

        Sure, the motivations for such operations could be as shady as the forces they target, but much of the time they are necessary to someone who would otherwise support the enemy if we do not support them. It's all a game of chess, and you're only watching a few of your own pieces rather than the whole board.

        In the case of nukes, yeah, that's different; but a first strike situation still needs as few individuals involved as is reasonably possible to maintain proper control.

        1. Ken Burgess profile image79
          Ken Burgessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          We send our "special" forces in to countries like Syria to start the trouble.

          Then we use that excuse to destroy that nation.

          We have done so in many countries, many times, our interference is just more obvious, and more belabored in Syria where we have yet to oust the ruling family.

          What is going on in Syria is only necessary because the EU wants cheap oil & gas piped through Syria which Syria will not allow it because it is an ally to Russia... and currently Russia supplies the majority of oil and natural gas to the EU.

          This is about rich corporations getting richer, at the expense of those who live in Syria, and those who serve in our military.

          1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
            Kyler J Falkposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            That's a very narrow view of it, and could accurately be called incorrect.

            We have long been in Syria on behalf of Israel due to Iranian-backed militias taking pot shots at Israel from Syrian-held lands. Israel has interests in much of the land in Syria because of Iran's willingness to occupy them, and Syria's willingness to let them do so. The Russians being involved is just typical, much like we have sat with the Russians and ran joint ops all throughout the Middle East, Kuwait being a very specific area we regularly host Russian forces for our own ops.

            Heck, we even work jointly with Russian special forces to the point where sometimes we have to bomb Russian bases where our men are posted up. Can you believe that, bombing our own best of the best just to hit the Russians? We aren't doing that on behalf of any corporation, but for long-term strategy.

            If you ever had the chance to serve, to see what it is that goes on out there, you'd know that most of what happens is necessary and for a goal far beyond corporate greed. Every small militia can become a big problem if not addressed quickly, and with overwhelming force. Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden understand the value of a shock and awe campaign. If supporting our allies isn't enough of an excuse for us to be attacking by your standards, then consider it opening up a path for further campaigns.

            Most pressing would be Iran establishing a foothold and setting up AA defenses along Israel's borders. This is all just a mild, incomplete summary, as well. To really draw out the field I'd need to write a dissertation on the matter.

            You'd really wet your panties if you saw all the regions we are in, but all the public gets is what they're allowed to know.

            1. Ken Burgess profile image79
              Ken Burgessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              That would be a view of someone who does not understand the intricacies of that region's history going back more than a couple decades.

              Someone such as yourself, who was probably still in diapers when I was deployed to the Middle East, more than once, giving me a different perspective... in addition to those personal experiences I am fond of history as well and know how good things once were in nations like Syria and Lebanon decades ago.

              As for Iran, our interference there decades ago created the state of Iran that exists today.  Iran and the various "terrorist" groups it funds, gives us the excuse to use our own "special" forces to create the havoc in places like Syria which offer us the excuse to use military force, or directly support those "freedom fighters" who do.

              America is the mercenary force behind the corporate interests that have destabilized the entire region, from Libya to Lebanon, Syria to Iraq.  That region of the world is in shambles because it makes rich corporations and rich men richer for the doing.

              Those nations that are nor "sh__ holes" (as a former President once said) are well off because they are part of those rich corporations and rich men (IE - The Royal Saudi Family) that are profiting from the destabilization and dehumanization of those other nations.

              1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
                Kyler J Falkposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Ah, so you're a moralist, then. Well, I'm not sure which you would prefer more: the US being the boogeyman, or Russia and China being the boogeymen. To the victor goes the spoils, and living life the way it should be rather than the way it is often lands you at the bottom of the rubble broken and disappointed.

                All that being said, I wish I could've seen it all before my time. My sympathies for all they've lost, and continue to lose. However, there are still those areas worth visiting, and Lebanese women are top-tier.

  2. emge profile image80
    emgeposted 2 years ago

    I think many people including Democrats I'm not convinced about the physical fitness of Joe Biden. This could be the background for this rather strange request to the president. I don't think it's a good idea because as per the principles of war, unity of command is very important and if 2/three people are going to decide about launching nuclear weapons it will be too late and anything could happen by then.

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      But due to personality aberrations, i certainly did not trust  Donald Trump with his hand on the trigger.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)