Former U.S. Defense Secretary Says Trump Cabinet Can't Stop Nuclear War

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
2017-11-15 15:16:00

Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry

Washington, November 15 (RHC)-- A former U.S. Defense Secretary says that the president's cabinet can’t stop a nuclear war if Donald Trump wants one.  Bill Perry, who served as secretary of defense for former President Bill Clinton, told Politico on Wednesday that nuclear war has “become more probable in the last year, partly because of President Trump,” and partly due to events beyond the president’s control.  He added that Trump doesn’t understand the North Koreans, and doesn’t understand what his rhetoric is doing. 

Trump has often deviated from diplomatic protocols and attacked leaders of other nations by calling them names.  He stirred a controversy a few weeks back by deriding North Korea leader Kim Jong-un as “rocket man,” a move that experts said was unbecoming of a president.  Pyongyang slammed the U.S. president's tour of Asia, saying Washington is merely begging for a “nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.” 

Perry mentioned U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as a “stabilizing influence” with this president.  Mattis had previously said the United States would never accept a nuclear North Korea, warning of a "massive military response" to any use of nuclear weapons against Washington or its allies. 

“The order can go directly from the president to the Strategic Air Command.  The defense secretary is not necessarily in that loop.  So, in a five- or six- or seven-minute kind of decision, the secretary of defense probably never hears about it until it’s too late. If there is time, and if he does consult the secretary, it’s advisory, just that,” Perry explained.  “Whether [the president] goes with it or doesn’t go with it—[the secretary] doesn’t have the authority to stop it.” 

Trump has attempted to portray his administration as much more willing than former U.S. administrations to resort to military action against the North.  “This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past,” Trump said addressing South Korea’s National Assembly last week.  “Do not underestimate us.  And do not try us,” he added, apparently addressing North Korea. 


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