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Who Controls the Nukes of Each Country?

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posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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Is there ever a discrepancy for using nukes between the head of government and who actually presses the buttons? How does this vary according to form of government? Can we always pin nuclear war on the head of government of each nation that participates or does not participate?




posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 08:30 PM
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the western world has tended to use a dual key approach - two to launch and based on mutual approval of codes. If you want a goood title to read up on this then i can commend you to Psychological Effects of Nuclear War - James Thompson - if its still in print. The two key any approval MUST come from the head of state or acting state to issue the final codes - hence the mention of the "football" the briefcase holding the codes.

[edit on 21-1-2006 by Silk]



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 09:15 PM
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Well, in the US the decision to use Nuclear Weapons revolves around the “two man rule”. Both the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense must concur to use Nuclear Weapons, neither man by himself can issue such an order, together these two men constitute the National Command Authority (NCA). Once the NCA decides on a course of action they issue the order to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He in turn directs an officer at the National Military Command Center to execute the order via STRATCOM.

[edit on 21-1-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Both the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense must concur to use Nuclear Weapons, neither man by himself can issue such an order.

What if one of them gets a heart attack when he/she hear that nuclear missiles are inbound? Or if one or both of them are assassinated?



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 09:39 PM
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C’mon Hellmutt you surly know the answer to that, if either man is physically incapable of making a decision at the necessary time, then their second in command takes over. In this case it would be the Deputy Secretary of Defense, or the Vice President of the United States.



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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Yeah, I knew that



So, the next in command steps in and if they manage to launch their missiles in time...

...they can say "Thank God we made it in time! We have now ensured that we won´t be dying alone!" Of course if it then turned out to be a false alarm, they can now be sure that "the enemy" will launch their missiles for real this time. M.A.D.

Thank God it didn´t happen September 26, 1983. I hope it will never happen...



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 01:10 AM
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Oh I know, there have been other situations like that, during the Cuban missile crisis one officer on board a Russian sub armed with nuclear tipped torpedoes talked his CO out of using one against a US CBG. And in 1995 a misidentification caused Russia to come within minutes of launching its Nuclear Missiles at the US.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 07:06 AM
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IIRC the other US ICBM command centres can launch their missiles if there is a delay in a command centre lauching its sorties.I think that is only in the case of an all out ICBM squadron launch rather than anything else...However that is only after receiving a valid launch order from the National Command Authority.

[edit on 22-1-2006 by bmdefiant]



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 07:14 AM
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HELLMUTT thanks . That's an amazing article. Thank you I never new that



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 06:38 AM
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Is the movie 'Crimson Tide' based on a real story?



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 07:02 AM
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No it wasn't. In fact that Navy was very interested in helping with it, until they read the script, and then were so disgusted by it they walked out.

Interestingly enough the SSBNs are on a launch unless told not to systems during times of alert. Under certain conditions, unless they get the code NOT to launch at set times, they automatically launch their missiles. The SSBNs were the safest leg of the Triad, and the assumption was that if they didn't receive the code, there was no one left to send it, therefor there was no reason to hold onto their missiles.

We used to have EC-135 Looking Glass birds out here, with a Battlestaoff on them. One of the pilots said the scariest thing he ever had to do was launch during an actual alert. There was a computer failure that told them to launch the planes. He said turning onto the runway was the scariest thing he ever did in his life, because no one knew if they would have a place to land in the next couple of hours

[edit on 1/26/2006 by Zaphod58]



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 08:39 AM
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I seem to remember a test the US military did a while back, where the go for launch of weapons was given - to all intents & purposes, the guys in the silos thought nuclear war was here. I believe there was a 30% launch success rate - that is to say only 3/10 silos actually gave the missles the right commands to launch. The other 7/10 didn't activate the missiles.

So although in theory the command to launch is held by the President & Secretary of Defence, it still comes down to the guys in the silos who have to actually activate the missiles and launch them. You can imagine the conversations in the silos when the command to launch comes from above...

As for the British deterrant. I had previously assumed that the US has a veto in the use of our missles. However, doing a quick search, the MOD has apparently replied to a "Freedom of Information Act" request, where they confirm that the US doesn't have a veto over a British launch. Information on the British deterrant can be found:

Polaris Sales Agreement
MOD Deterrence Policy (PDF)



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 08:54 AM
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Interestingly enough the SSBNs are on a launch unless told not to systems during times of alert. Under certain conditions, unless they get the code NOT to launch at set times, they automatically launch their missiles.


Yeah Zap it used to be like that, however I think now they cannot launch without a direct order from the NCA. Even if they receive an order to prepareto launch, they cannot however actually launch until they receive an order from the NCA.


You can imagine the conversations in the silos when the command to launch comes from above...


If they are trained and prepared right there should be no discussion, only immediate action.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 09:08 AM
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In the case of Russia if they are hit by a massive nuclear attack first a computer can launch Russia's missiles without any human help.

Russia has the ultimate nuclear fail safe "DEAD HAND" a automated nuclear retaliatory system that becomes triggered by massive destruction that needs no human operator.

You could wipe out all of Russia commanders in a nuclear first strike and the orders would still go out to launch.



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