Speculation about the transfer of nuclear football
Incumbent President Donald Trump will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Joe Biden as the 47th President of the United States. When Biden is sworn in tomorrow, Trump will be in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. This is a case of breaking the tradition. Biden said after the January 8 incident that he agreed with Trump on this one decision. But the problem is, if the outgoing president is not at the inauguration, what will happen to the transfer of ‘nuclear football’?
The US President carries a special 45-pound briefcase with him wherever he travels. This special briefcase is called nuclear football. The military men accompanying the president carry this nuclear football. And the president has a nuclear code on a card in his pocket. This card in the nuclear code is called ‘Biscuit’. One of the highlights of the US President’s inauguration is the handover of nuclear football. But since Trump was not present at the ceremony, various rumors have started circulating in the US media about his handover.
According to the US media CNN, this special briefcase called Nuclear Football contains nuclear bombing equipment, which Trump can use to authorize such an attack. From the time he took office until he left office, a military official carried this briefcase with him all the time. As a result, the briefcase will be with Trump until noon local time on January 20. Normally, a military official with a predecessor hands over the nuclear football to a military officer standing next to him during the inauguration of the new US president. But tomorrow, Wednesday, the transfer will be different. Because, before Biden is sworn in, Trump will leave Washington DC. As a result, nuclear football will leave Washington DC with him.
Analysts say there will be at least two briefcases in this case. One of these will be with Trump. The other will be at the inauguration ceremony on Capitol Hill. This made the transfer of power difficult. It is a big challenge to get it done without any hassle.
Stephen Schwartz, a non-resident senior fellow at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, told CNN that the transfer process will be different this time around. The transfer of control of the president over nuclear weapons needs to be very secure. It should not be an exception to anything. It was so long.
Military experts believe that even if there are two nuclear footballs in two places, there is no big risk. According to them, the general public’s idea is that there is a code or button in nuclear football that, if pressed, would allow the president to launch an atomic bomb directly anywhere. But that is not the case at all. This nuclear football is a combination of some of the tools by which the president can authorize a nuclear attack.
There are three to four such nuclear footballs, said Stephen Schwartz. He said they have a president and a vice president. Apart from this, another nuclear football is kept, to be shown at some special events including the inauguration ceremony, the State of the Union. The biscuit in Trump’s possession will be effective until 11:59:59 a.m. local time on Wednesday to authorize the bombing using this nuclear football. After that, it will automatically become invalid. At the same time, Biden will have the power to grant this approval. As a result, if Trump authorizes an attack somewhere at 12:01 p.m., it will be the duty of the military officials concerned to ignore the order. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will receive two similar biscuits in the morning, which will be active at noon.