One Man Shouldn't Control the Nuclear Button: Presidential Power and Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 12:00pm

Watch the video here.

Slides: Professor Jonathan King

Slides: Professor Robert Redwine

The recent publication of "Peril" by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa brought to light an incident involving General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the waning months of the Trump administration, Milley contacted his counterpart in China and reassured the Chinese government that the US would maintain strategic stability, particularly regarding US nuclear weapons. Republicans have soundly criticized General Milley for his actions. However, in a Wall Street Journal editorial on October 4, William Perry, former Secretary of Defense, stated, "The problem is not that General Milley deviated from policy; the problem is the policy."

Join us for this virtual conversation, co-sponsored with the MIT Faculty Newsletter,  examining the dangerous situation in which the sitting president of the US can launch a nuclear attack without any consultation with the Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Cabinet, and the American people. We will explore options to rectify this urgent situation with leading scientists and scholars.

Professor Robert Redwine, MIT Physics

Professor Elaine Scarry, The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

Moderator: Professor Emeritus Jonathan King, MIT Biology

Co-Sponsored with the MIT Faculty Newsletter

Watch the video here.