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In October, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it became apparent to President Kennedy that an immediate nuclear response might be required in case of a launch from the island just 90 miles South of Florida. The President and the Defense establishment found that the command and control structure was difficult and convoluted.

The National Command Authority was formed in 1946 with the President at the top. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, a set of procedures and codes became available in a 45-pound briefcase carried within a few feet of the President at all times. It is carried by an officer of one of the services on a rotating basis. It is considered a serious breach of National Security if the President is separated from the football. In 1973, President Nixon presented Soviet Leader Leonid Breshnev with a Cadillac at Camp David. The two leaders took a little ride of the site and Nixon was separated from the nuclear codes for thirty minutes.

Officially known as the Presidential Emergency Satchel, the bag is informally called the Nuclear Football. Using the contents therein, the President has the capability to launch a nuclear strike on an adversary.

Three other individuals have access to a nuclear football including the Vice-President, the Secretary of Defense and the Assistant Secretary of Defense. They are activated in accordance with rules of succession.

Peaceful Transition of Power

The peaceful transition of power from the sitting president to his duly elected successor has been a hallmark of American Democracy. Ever American and every leader in the world will be watching the United States on January 20, 2021 to see if this transition occurs in accordance with our Constitution and our laws.

The only times in our history when this transition has not been peaceful and orderly has been when a president has died in office for any reason.

January 20, 2021, 12:00 Noon

Should Former Vice-President Joe Biden win the election, the term of President Donald Trump will end. This date was established by the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Some pundits and politicians are worried that President Trump might attempt to disrupt or delay our traditional peaceful transition of power. Should this happen, our country will be thrown into the worst Constitutional Crisis in our history.

On that date and at that time, every American and every world leader will be asking, “Where is the Football?”

I have confidence in the leaders of our country outside of the Oval Office including the Vice-President and the Secretary of Defense that the Nuclear Football will change hands properly to the properly elected President.

If my confidence is not well-founded, the crisis we face will be magnitudes more serious and put America in the deepest National Security Crisis it will ever face.

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