These days there is a lot of talk about the safety of the black ‘Nuclear Football’ suitcase carrying the President to America. Indeed, a media outlet claimed that this black suitcase was left in the hands of rioters during the attack by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. When the disbelievers entered the Capitol building, a copy of this suitcase was with a Secret Service agent accompanying US Vice President Mike Pence. US Virgin Islands House delegate Stacey Plaskett said the rioters then moved within 100 feet of Mike Pence’s hiding place. He also said that by the grace of God this suitcase did not fall into the hands of the rioters. In such a situation, questions arise: if this bag had fallen into the hands of a rioter, could there have been a nuclear attack?
How dangerous is the demise of nuclear football?
The Asia Times quoted US defense experts as saying the suitcase poses no threat to the world if it falls into the hands of a foreigner. They believe that such an ordinary person would not have the launch code to fire a nuclear missile. But, since the Capitol Hill incident, the Pentagon Inspector General has assessed whether the US Department of Defense properly planned in the event that the suitcase, known as Nuclear Football, goes missing. In a letter dated July 19, the Pentagon’s IG office ordered officials to review existing plans of action in the event of a lost, stolen or compromised nuclear football case.
What are “nuclear football” and “cookie”?
There is always a black suitcase with the American president. It contains war plans, computer codes to approve attacks and communication devices. Its weight is about 20 kg. It is also called “nuclear football”. At the same time, the ‘cookie’ is a card on which the nuclear launch codes are written. The US president always keeps this card with him. A similar nuclear football vice president faces the president’s incapacity. Apart from that, another dark colored book is contained within this briefcase, which has full information about the hiding place in the event of an attack. Inside that Trump briefcase is an emergency broadcast system. Inside this nuclear soccer ball is a card 3 to 5 inches long with codes written to confirm the nuclear bombing. This card which looks like a credit card is called a “cookie”. This cookie has 5 alarms and is played if lost. Inside the briefcase is an antenna-mounted communications device, through which the US President can instantly speak anywhere in the world.
Can the US President launch a nuclear attack at the push of a button?
Technically, there is no red button you can press to launch a nuclear attack. For this, following certain established rules and procedures, the army is responsible for carrying out a nuclear attack using high-tech equipment. The purpose of using this equipment is that the US military can confirm that the commander himself is their commander-in-chief. However, the power to declare war rests with the US Congress, not the President. But many presidents sent troops to the front without officially declaring war. The US Congress has declared war only five times. At the same time, presidents have sent the army to war more than 120 times without declaring war.
Who runs “nuclear football”?
Someone very close to the president walks with him on nuclear football. Whether the President is in the White House, in the car, on the flight, or abroad, that suitcase is always with him. This assistant to the President walks with him in the same elevator. Stays in the same hotel where they are staying. Even the secret service agents who protect the president are protecting this man. The suitcase is attached to his hands by means of a leather strap.
Why is this nuclear football dangerous?
There is no system to restrict the authority of the US president to launch a nuclear attack. However, there are some ways to slow down their decision speed. If it appears that the United States is in danger of a nuclear attack, the president has only a few minutes to decide on retaliation, weighing its seriousness. With one of his gestures, 925 nuclear bombs can be launched to wreak havoc around the world. These bombs can cause 17,000 times more destruction than the bomb that exploded in Hiroshima. If the US president wishes, he can also trigger a nuclear attack.
When nuclear football scared the world
There have been many times nuclear football has forced the whole world, including America, to fear. In 2000, then President Bill Clinton lost his “cookie” for several months. However, he was later found. A similar incident occurred in 1981 after the attack on then-President Reagan. His colleague was unable to reach the hospital with a nuclear soccer ball. At the same time, Reagan’s clothes were removed before being taken to the operating room. The “cookie” was later found lying unattended in a plastic bag at the hospital.
Football has “control” of 6,000 nuclear bombs
According to one estimate, America has around 6,185 nuclear bombs, which can destroy the entire world over and over again. Of these nuclear warheads, 1,365 were deployed in bombers, surface-to-surface missiles, and missiles mounted on nuclear submarines. Once the US president gives his approval for a nuclear attack, the task of the White House war room is to implement it as quickly as possible. If the US President gives “Go Code” then no other officer can stop him. The missiles are then fired. Once the missiles are fired, it is impossible to recall them. The result is a disaster.