This is comforting. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
During the Trump administration, I pointed to a problem with the American presidential system: it provides presidents with essentially unchecked power when it comes to launching a nuclear holocaust. Presidents can initiate nuclear war whenever they like. They need not be acting in a defensive capacity. This should strike any sane person as a rather insane policy, and as a huge hole in the so-called checks and balances on which the US political system is allegedly premised.
Because of the Beltway hysteria over Trump, the Congress—possibly for the first time—considered measures to rein in the president in this regard. It’s a shame it required Trump derangement syndrome to make this an issue, but we should take what we can get when it comes to admitting some of the grave threats to commonsensical governance that plague the American national security state.
Naturally, these lukewarm attempts at reform failed, likely because the Pentagon was surely opposed to them. While the president’s power is essentially unrestrained in this manner, the loosey goosey approach to controlling launching power also empowers the Pentagon. Surely, the Pentagon’s generals wanted to make sure they can have a big role in launching World War III on a whim as well.