- Reuters/Carlo Allegri
A group of former nuclear-launch officers wrote a public letter warning that Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president, should not be trusted with the nuclear-launch codes.
The letter was organized by Bruce Blair, a former nuclear-launch officer and a scholar at Princeton University, as part of the #NoRedButton campaign.
John Noonan, a national-security expert who advised both Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, was among the 10 who signed.
The former officers wrote that only the president is capable of ordering a nuclear strike – and once the launch has been ordered, it can’t be vetoed.
“The pressures the system places on that one person are staggering and require enormous composure, judgment, restraint and diplomatic skill,” the letter said. “Donald Trump does not have these leadership qualities.”
Trump has “shown himself time and again to be easily baited and quick to lash out, dismissive of expert consultation and ill-informed of even basic military and international affairs – including, most especially, nuclear weapons,” the letter said.
Blair, the head of the #NoRedButton campaign, also wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on Wednesday in which he asserted that Trump is uniquely unfit for the Oval Office.
Blair wrote that Trump is “seemingly blind to the importance of restraint” when it comes to nuclear weapons.
“He shows no humility toward the civilization-ending destructiveness of nuclear weapons, and offhandedly entertains their use,” he wrote.
The nuclear launch officers sum it up in their letter.
“Donald Trump should not be the nation’s commander-in-chief,” they wrote. “He should not have his finger on the button.”