It takes several acts of Congress to set the federal budget. Presidential appointments are subject to congressional approval. The Supreme Court can overrule executive orders. Yet the President, acting alone, can push the nuclear button.
Operating within a system designed around checks and balances, the President of the United States possesses unchecked authority to order a nuclear strike – without any oversight. President Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Perry and nuclear expert Tom Collina argue that “Presidents, like all of us, make mistakes. They are only human. So, why do we give so much power to one fallible human?” In “The Button,” the authors recommend what is needed to update U.S. nuclear policy.