What odds do you put on the U.S. being involved in a nuclear launch in next 8 yrs.?

I ask because when it comes to this issue, it’s hard to tell sometimes whether people already having this discussion are afraid because they truly think there’s danger ahead, or whether they’re saying “Trump’s so crazy, even the current tiny chance is a million times bigger than it’d be with any other President”. IOW, many think it’s higher under Trump, but don’t usually, in casual conversation, define what they think it actually is. And, of course, a lot of the time it’s gallows humor. But it’s hard to tell which case is which these days. I get the sense that most people mean the latter, but I can definitely see the former existing.

So which do YOU mean, if you mean either? Feel free to also describe what other people seem to think, to give me a general pulse on whether people are genuinely afraid to that extent or not.

My feeling, at this ungodly hour of the morning, is that no matter who is POTUS the odds are about 100% against us launching first and 80% against us retaliating with a nuclear strike after someone else launches; this includes some theater-style weapons and not just the more massive “nuke Russia to the stone age” type stuff – I’m not totally sure what we have on hand at the moment. Yes, the military is trained to follow orders and the POTUS is the Commander-in-Chief. But these days I’m not sure just how much that means when it comes to releasing nukes.

The US President is emotionally damaged and leagues out of his depth but his focus is a pathological dislike of the former president, and serving what he perceives as his voter base.

It’s pretty clear China and North Korea are playing him. They’re reminding a fool and the world of the limits of US power.

On Iran, he only has US sanctions - which will hurt US jobs, the rest of the world will continue to ignore him and carry on with the deal.
The political world is talking - everyone understands he’s a child, and that this is a period the world just has to get through.

I wouldn’t be surprised if — just for this President — an extra security step has been introduced in the Gold Codes. In the unlikely event that one of the adult caretakers (Kelly or Mattis) decides nuclear strike is desirable, he’ll inform the President: “You have to type the digits in reverse order; did they forget to tell you that?”

The “adults” in the room are Kelly and Matthis? You mean the men with long and distinguished records of failure in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Who do you want in charge? Jared and Ivanka?

I don’t think it’s high, but I think it’s non-zero, and that alone is scary. Also, I think it’s 100% certain that he will retaliate. It’s like his Twitter account-- he has no self-control and can be easily baited. Those are poor qualities in a president.

Now, it’s not his fault that N. Korea is picking this moment to behave very badly, but that’s when you get into trouble-- when two people are both being assholes at the same time. Obama or Clinton would be able to stay calm and handle N. Korea much better. Hell, even Ted Cruz or Mitt Romney would handle it better. I may not like them, but they are not emotionally children, which seems to be the problem with both Trump and Kim Jong Un.

I disagree. I don’t claim that Kim is a genius, but he’s smart enough to know that a bellicose but inept U.S. Administration is the perfect time to rally his people and also get some sympathy in the court of world opinion. Certainly Trump’s behavior gives credence to Kim’s “need” for retaliatory power.

Similarly, Trump’s election was very happy news for ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Weird that they enjoy being humiliated & decimated! :rolleyes:

Non-zero. Both North Korea and Iran are taking advantage of America’s isolationism. Both should have been spanked long ago - North Korea in Obama’s time and Iran even earlier. Trump, of course, is a bully, all mouth and no trousers, and both are calling him on it.

When are you joining the TA, Quartz?

They did something like that to Nixon, in the very last days of his failed presidency, just to keep him from launching some kind of “Oh, what the hell” military action.

I hope you’re right; I think it makes a very good (if horrible) kind of sense.

When are you and others going to realise that I don’t defend Trump; rather I attack bad arguments and false and malicious accusations about him? You know, fighting ignorance?

When are Dopers going to learn that their behaviour is one of the best advertisements for Trump there is? Dopers, Trump doesn’t need your help.

SAD Our country will never earn the respect that we once had. We (not me) elected a spoiled man-child as our president. There is no near-term future scenario where anyone should ever trust us again. Our country elected Trump. I know that outside interests paid for fake news Face Book post’s. The fact of the matter is, our country values racism over equality.

I don’t personally believe in God, but I do pray that someone in the White House is keeping those fat stubby fingers away from the launch codes.

As bad as those options are, they are better than the thin-skinned adolescent that is currently in charge.

Again, I don’t understand the ESL crap that you keep posting. I am slow on the uptake, but your constant inane comments and vodka related threads are curious to say the least.

I don’t know how you could quantify this. Qualitatively, I think it’s fair to say that the risk is slightly higher, though still very low. Gun (or nuclear bomb) to my head? If it was 1% before, it’s 3% now.

But my feelings are that based on history (Nixon) and the current political system/situation (even a lot of Republicans won’t stand with him) that there is some sort of failsafes or more to prevent that sort of retaliation.

My thinking is also along the lines that if we are struck first it will be by something like ISIS giving us no clear target to hit with a nuke of something like North Korea where we have to worry/consider fallout hitting our “friends”. Should North Korea actually strike something my thinking is the the response would be a heavy conventional assault in retaliation rather than something from the Big Bang Bucket.

I put it at roughly 25%. You have an unstable, ignorant twit who can pick up that football and call in a strike at a moment’s notice. I’d say if he isn’t the first to fire nuclear bombs then nobody else will. The Russians are taking us over with much less loss of life by using Facebook memes, the Chinese have no particular interest in shooting missiles, and Kim Jong Un may be a big mouth blowhard, he isn’t suicidal either. He has his bombs so that he won’t end up like Khadafy or Saddam, I don’t think he intends to use them as that would be suicide.

~0% chance.

I put it at 20%. Many things can go wrong, including a second term for Agent Orange.

Less than 2%.