Nixon was drunk to the point of incapacitation on October 11, 1973 when UK Prime Minister Heath called to talk about the Yom Kippur war.

Two weeks later Nixon was drunkenly asleep when Kissenger, Schlesinger, etc decided to raise US nuclear force readiness to signal Soviets.
Perhaps my “favorite” declassified document ever is Kissinger and Scowcroft discussing Nixon as “loaded” & unable to talk to UK PM during 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
In 1974 Nixon was making odd and disturbing comments to members of Congress about his unrestricted authority to initiate a nuclear war that would kill tens of millions of people.
There’re good reasons to doubt Schlesinger’s claims—& contemporary claims by someone about Mattis & Trump—that he restricted Nixon’s authority to order use of nuclear weapons.

Ability, no documents, & little-to-no substantiation from others to start.…
For record, & as discussed with reference to primary source documents by @wellerstein, the President can launch nukes without reference or check by, well, anyone.

By definition a valid launch order to execute a preplanned nuclear option is legal.…
Nixon obviously intoxicated & trying to order up a nuclear strike probably wouldn’t have happened.

what about Trump after lunch ordering up a nuclear well done on DPRK & China?

Only one way to find out & hoping for what amounts to a coup to prevent it strikes me as unwise.
ultimate solution: global nuclear disarmament. No Doomsday Machines.

In meantime US could/should:

-Congressionally forbid 1st strike launch of US nukes w/o Congressional approval (de facto NFU).

-restructure launch process to incorporate 2 others, say Speaker of House & VP.
problem is bigger than that the President may have a moment & start a nuclear war.

What about false alarms in a crisis?

Or groupthink amongst those involved in launch process?


US should abandon plans to launch under attack or promptly.

Deterrence doesn’t require it.
In any case.


And if you enjoy, learn from, or want to enable my work please cosider:

We built them.
We can take them apart.

We can #LickTheBomb.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Nuclear War on Christmas (Martin Pfeiffer) 🏳️‍🌈
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!