Security Surrounding Nuclear Football Being Officially Reviewed In Aftermath Of Capitol Siege

Drumboy44

DEFCON Staff
Staff member
The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has confirmed it will evaluate whether or not there are adequate procedures in place for events that might compromise the safety of the Presidential Emergency Satchel, more commonly known as the “nuclear football.” The review comes in light of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021 in which protesters were able to storm past Capitol Police and essentially overrun the seat of America’s government.

The contents of the 45-pound Presidential Emergency Satchel aren't exactly known. According to the Federation of American Scientists, the nuclear football contains a secure telephone, a booklet containing procedures for securing the President in the event of an emergency, a book of codes needed to co-authorize the use of nuclear weapons, and the all-important “black book” of pre-planned targeted response options. Currently, the President has the sole authority to order the use of nuclear weapons by identifying himself to the Pentagon with unique codes that only they possess. These codes are often referred to as the "gold codes" and the President carries them on his or her person in what is called "the biscuit." A launch order would be sent to the Pentagon's National Military Command Center and on to other elements of the National Command Authority (Secretary of Defense) and STRATCOM. If the order is deemed lawful by the Secretary of Defense, which remains a somewhat ambiguous safety mechanism, STRATCOM could launch land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles in as little as two minutes.

39219242-0-image-a-6_1613148539971.jpg

The President has a number of military and cabinet advisors who could offer advice in the event that a nuclear strike would be called for, yet just the military aide that carries the football is ready to quickly provide targeting and response option advice to the President alone so that a strike can be quickly ordered with minimal outside support. As noted, no one has the power to override the President, strictly speaking, unless their order is deemed unlawful, especially by the Secretary of Defense. Even then, with such tight timelines involved and the so-called 'fog of war' that would surround a sudden and incredibly severe crisis, the effectiveness of this safeguard is debatable. In addition, it is said that elements of the National Command Authority, namely the Secretary of Defense, could be fired until someone in line would execute the order. The entire process remains a hotly debated topic, one that pits the struggle of ensuring a robust nuclear deterrent against the potential for a world-ending mistake or illogical action.

E6v_Pg7XsAISbia.jpeg.jpg

The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has confirmed it will evaluate whether or not there are adequate procedures in place for events that might compromise the safety of the Presidential Emergency Satchel, more commonly known as the “nuclear football.” The review comes in light of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021 in which protesters were able to storm past Capitol Police and essentially overrun the seat of America’s government.


Continue here:
 
Last edited:
Top