Last month, in the wake of rumors that Kim Jong Un may be close to creating deadly intercontinental ballistic missiles with the intentions of pointing them at the U.S. soils, Donald Trump boldly threatened to obliterate entire North Korea if they so much as look at his country the wrong way.
This isn’t the first time that Trump has engaged in verbal warfare against another nation. His previous victims have included China, Mexico and majority of Muslim countries including Iran. But the urgent question on everyone’s mind is whether the President of the United States has enough authority on the U.S. military to wage an actual war against a country – the answer to this question may surprise you.
Donald Trump’s Misconceptions about his Power
When Donald Trump took the oath of office on 20 January, 2017, he promised his supporters to punish the terrorists in the worst way possible and sent thousands of American soldiers back to Afghanistan to strengthen its crippled democracy in order to weaken the terrorist forces that have been plotting attacks against the west since 9/11.
Although his decision to maintain control in Afghanistan was met with very little resistance by the US Secretary of Defense, it seems like Trump’s misconception about having total control over his military might have been shattered after the US General recently came on national television and said that the President’s orders can be refused by the armed forces if proved unlawful.
U.S. Nuclear Force Commander’s Response to the President’s Threats
North Korea is increasingly becoming a global threat and Donald Trump has not shied away from expressing disdain against its supreme leader Kim Jong Un. In the midst of rising animosity between the two nations, U.S. air force General, John Hyten, made a public statement saying that any unlawful order from the current president or his successors will be met with resistance from the US army.
U.S General further explained that if Trump had any plans of carrying out an illegal missile strike on North Korea or any other country for that matter, he would be advised to take a more legal route by his military advisors. Hyten said that his job as a commander of Strategic Command is to present all possible, lawful options to the President for solving a particular problem. If a nuclear attack from North Korea was imminent, the Command would provide legal strike options to defend their country.
How Much Authority Does Trump Have as a President?
Ever since taking the office, Trump’s temperament has been of a serious concern for his critics who believe that the president’s borderline offensive and threatening tweets may just cost the nation another deadly war. However, judging from John Hyten’s assuring words, the US Commander in Chief may not have much of an authority over military matters after all.
In 2016, before Trump took office, General Hyten sent a message loud and clear that the U.S. army was not legally obliged to carry out any unlawful orders made by any future President. Commander John Hyten made it clear that he took an oath to protect the constitution and abide by the law, and he would do whatever it takes to protect the oath. Furthermore, if matters between North Korea and America ever got worse, the nuclear forces will ultimately be under the control of the command.
However, Trump is adamant that his army will show its loyalty to the Commander in Chief and obey his orders, legal or illegal. During a debate aired on Fox news, the president was questioned about the General’s remarks to which he responded, “They won’t refuse. Believe me. I’m a leader. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”