U.S. Presidential Election: Will the American people pass the nuclear codes to Donald Trump?

Above and beyond the many issues in the 2016 presidential election in the U.S., which now appears all but certain to be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with the possible entry of a third party candidate, the most critical question is whether the American people will vote into office a man whose ill-suited temperament has been displayed troughout the campaign, and entrust him with the nuclear codes which will allow the use of nuclear weapons.

One has only to reflect deeply on the possibility of a nuclear showdown between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump for this critical issue to come sharply into focus.

Would Trump and Putin be capable of the carefully modulated decision making and restraint demonstrated by John F. Kennedy and Nikita Krushev during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962, when the two nuclear superpowers came perilously close–much closer than is widely appreciated–to unleasing a nuclear war?

There are many facts and issues that make Donald Trump utterly unsuited for the office of President of the United States.


“The ugly face of America: Donald Trump and his supporters,” The Trenchant Observer, March 6, 2016.

“After Romney’s anti-Trump speech on March 3, alarm spreads over Trump candidacy and potential presidency,” The Trenchant Observer, March 7, 2016.

Moreover, it is worth reflecting a little on history.

Recalling the attacks on September 11, 2001, one has to consider the potential impact on the politics and political system of the United States of a cataclysmic terrorist event in which many thousands of people died.  However much we might hope that such an event will never occur, it is not beyond the realm of possibility. How might Trump react to such an event?

If elected, Trump would command not only the nuclear arsenal and the armed forces of the United States, but also the national security apparatus, including the National Security Agency and the CIA.

What he might do with such powers is unknown, and essentially unknowable.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.