Trump’s Nuclear Button Bluster: New at Reason

It is possible President Trump's "nuclear button" tweet could lead to total war, as a Yale psychologist recently warned, but we do have the means to tame his interventionism, Bonnie Kristian writes.

He should listen much less to—and replace—establishment hawks like National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who has emerged as an advocate of aggressive military intervention. McMaster is reportedly the chief proponent of the "bloody nose" in the White House, and he has consistently supported the very foreign policy status quo Trump, at his best, critiqued on the campaign trail.

Next, Congress can make clear it will not stand for this or any future president ordering a "bloody nose" or any similarly preventive strike on North Korea. This is a matter of policy (such a strike would be an enormously costly mistake, as detailed above) and procedure (the president has no constitutional authority to initiate war).

"The possibility of a war against North Korea that could turn nuclear is so consequential that Congress dare not abdicate the decision to a single person," Ret. Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis wrote, at The National Interest. "People of this country deserve to hear the president make his case publicly and then to have their representatives openly debate the wisdom of such a course."

Congressional fecklessness is unacceptable in any aspect of foreign policy. But if there is any circumstance in which the legislature must show resolve, it is when there is a significant possibility of nuclear war in an economically vital region of the world.

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