Admiral Says He Would Obey Trump Order to Nuke China

Pacific Fleet says commander was answering 'ridiculous' question
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 27, 2017 12:05 AM CDT
Admiral Says He Would Obey Trump Order to Nuke China
US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift addresses an Australian National University security conference in Canberra, Australia Thursday, July 27, 2017.   (Rod McGuirk)

The US Pacific Fleet commander said Thursday he would launch a nuclear strike against China next week if President Trump ordered it, and warned against the military ever shifting its allegiance from its commander in chief. Adm. Scott Swift was responding to a hypothetical question at an Australian National University security conference following a major joint US-Australian military exercise off the Australian coast, the AP reports. The drills were monitored by a Chinese intelligence-gathering ship off northeast Australia. Asked by an academic in the audience whether he would carry out a nuclear attack on China next week if Trump ordered it, Swift replied: "The answer would be: yes."

"Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us," Swift said. "Any time you have a military that is moving away from a focus and an allegiance to civilian control, then we really have a significant problem," he added. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Charlie Brown later said Swift's answer reaffirmed the principle of civilian control over the military. Swift "was not addressing the premise of the question, he was addressing the principle of civilian authority of the military," Brown said. "The premise of the question was ridiculous." (More US military stories.)

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