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What If President Trump Orders Secretary Of Defense Mattis To Do Something Deeply Unwise?

by Sarah Grant, Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Plausible hypotheticals sparked by recent events raise the question whether the Secretary of Defense or someone else high up in the chain of command must obey a presidential order he or she deems deeply unwise. May the Secretary of Defense refuse an order to initiate preemptive war against North Korea because he believes it is a terrible idea that will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths? What steps might the Secretary take to immunize the U.S. Armed Forces from carrying out such presidential commands?