United States (US) Navy Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott Swift said he is ready to execute US President Donald Trump’s order, even if Trump orders a nuclear strike against China next.
Admiral Swift was asked on July 27 at the Australian National University’s National Security College conference with a hypothetical question if he would execute a nuclear attack on China if Trump ordered it.
“The answer would be: yes,” Swift said, as quoted by Associated Press.
“Every member of the U.S. 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,” he added.
“This is core to the American democracy and 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.
The conference was held after the Australian, American forces joint exercise Talisman Saber.
However, Pacific Fleet spokesman Captain Charlie Brown clarified that “the admiral was not addressing the premise of the question, he was addressing the principle of civilian authority of the military.”
“The premise of the question was ridiculous,” Brown said.
In his speech during the conference, Swift said “one of the most pressing maritime security challenges facing us in the Indo-Asia-Pacific in my mind is the potential erosion of the rules-based international system.”
“It is a system that emerged from the ashes of World War II, generated unprecedented levels of prosperity, lifted millions out of poverty, and benefitted so many nations over the past 70 years. Yet its continued acceptance is being challenged on several fronts by the very nations it has most benefitted,” he added.