Metaculus users are acutely aware of the existential risks associated with nuclear security. The predictions community has written hundreds of questions concerning nuclear risk, and Metaculus is currently hosting a Nuclear Risk tournament. Most of these questions focus on stockpiles, detonation and other outcomes. To answer these questions with fidelity, predictors must make assumptions concerning the processes and conditions in which a nuclear weapon would be launched.
An excerpt from a Congressional Research Service report outlines the command and control of nuclear forces in the United States:
The U.S. President has sole authority to authorize the use of U.S. nuclear weapons. This authority is inherent in his constitutional role as Commander in Chief. The President can seek counsel from his military advisors; those advisors are then required to transmit and implement the orders authorizing nuclear use. But, as General John Hyten, then the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), noted, his job is to give advice, while the authority to order a launch lies with the President.
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