Never Mind Nukes – I’m Worried About Drones

During Hillary Clinton’s nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last week, she said of Donald Trump, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

This makes a powerful image – at least for my generation which sees that ubiquitous mushroom cloud at any mention of nuclear weapons. Still, I think the possibility that a President Trump would be able to successfully launch nuclear weapons as a first strike is extremely unlikely. While his statements and actions have been unconventional, bordering on bizarre of late, it is a giant leap to go from talking tough to launching nuclear weapons because you have been insulted by a foreign leader. And even if he gave that command, I believe those professionals in the Armed Forces who would be responsible for executing that order would be more likely than not to refuse to obey.

I am certain that the next president would grant full pardons to the court marshaled military personal following Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

The more likely scenario, I’m afraid, is that President Trump will order the use of armed drones to execute his political enemies within the borders of the United States, probably starting with those in the media whom Trump feels have treated him unfairly.

There are four reasons why this could happen.
1. As president, Mr. Trump would have every right to tour the military’s armed drone command centers and speak with the operators to locate a fervent Trump supporter or two;
2. Fervent Trump supporters seem willing to believe whatever Mr. Trump says, regardless of the facts presented by the media {President Obama’s birth certificate, Muslims celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center towers from New Jersey, “Hilary Clinton invented ISIS with her stupid policies” (ISIS predated Clinton’s term as Secretary of State)};
3. If a President Trump orders the right Trump supporter drone operator to strike a vehicle next to a person he wishes to eliminate, that operator will carry out the order from his Commander and Chief;
4. As president, Trump would claim the attack was an ISIS inspired car bomb and that the media is spreading misinformation – “as they always do” – by claiming otherwise.

I don’t know whether Mr. Trump is capable of killing another person, either in person or remotely. I think all presidents have made decisions which have resulted in the death of others. President Obama has taken action against “enemies” in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. President George W. Bush ordered the invasion Iraq and Afghanistan, and President Clinton sent troops into the Bosnia and bombing missions in Iraq and Sudan.

Presidents kill people. It’s part of the job. These actions are supposed to be conducted in order to keep America and the rest of the world safe, but it’s up to the Commander and Chief to decide which enemies to target to achieve that goal. Toward that end, the president is advised by experts in the military and intelligence services. The president then makes decisions based on the best information available, and sometimes he (or she) is wrong. President Clinton ordered the destruction of a pharmaceutical plant in North Sudan because of incorrect information that a powerful nerve gas was being produced there.

Donald Trump has stated more than once that he feels his best advisor is himself. He scoffs at “experts” and believes that his “great brain” is all he needs. That worries me. With that kind of attitude, I think it is possible, perhaps likely, that a President Trump will order the execution of a political enemy. You can see the gears turn.
1. Meghan Kelly keeps criticizing him and his policy decisions;
2. His poll numbers are dropping as a result of this criticism;
3. Because his popularity is waning, Congress is less likely to agree to his initiatives;
4. Since Congress won’t enact his programs, the economy is suffering;
5. With a faltering economy, the public is starting to think of him as a poor leader and the value of the Trump brand is lessened;
6. Therefore, Meghan Kelly is harming both the United States and the Trump brand;
7. Meghan Kelly must go (Bonus: other reporters will treat him more favorably out of fear of the consequences).

I am not saying that this is a likely scenario, but I do think that it is possible. Mr. Trump has demonstrated time and again that he takes attacks on his reasoning or character personally, and will strike out quickly and nastily, or wait and deliver a well-timed (and newsworthy) attack. His refusal to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain fall into the latter category. He said a few months ago that he has never asked for forgiveness. Since forgiveness is not in his nature, it seems obvious to me that he does not forgive others either.

It is that temperament thing that the democrats and their allies keep bringing up. Donald Trump, they say, does not have the temperament to be president. He is too easily baited by statements he finds offensive and he does not forgive indiscretions. That is why Hillary Clinton and others talk about nuclear weapons.

But I am confident the United States will never use nuclear weapons as a first strike, even if the Commander and Chief orders it. Drones, on the other hand, are a real threat during a Trump presidency. Still unlikely, but possible. Maybe now is a good time for military commanders to ensure that drone software will not allow armed operation within the boundaries of the United States. While we’re at it, let’s add Canada, Mexico and our NATO allies to that list as well. Please!!!

About tonyj126

I'm a 50+ married man who always seems to have a large backlog of work to do, but also a lot of flexibility in my schedule. Much of the work I do is volunteer or taking care of extended family members. I suffer from, as my priest calls it, "the sin of self-sufficiency," which means I can figure out how to do most things myself, and consequently, reduce the need for community to solve problems. As a logical extention (at least to me), I find myself called to comtemplate the country's and the world's woes and offer my observations. I hope someone out there will find them useful.
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