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The Real Nuclear Threat

Donald Trump’s candidacy has been a source of anxiety for many reasons, but one stands out: the ability of the President to launch nuclear weapons. When it comes to starting a nuclear war, the President has more freedom than he or she does in, say, ordering the use of torture. The so-called National Command Authority gives the President unilateral power to direct the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances, subject only to secondary confirmation by the Secretary of Defense, who—if confirmation is not forthcoming—can be immediately fired at the sole discretion of the President.
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