In an answer at Thursday night’s presidential debate, tycoon Donald Trump said he would force the U.S. military to commit war crimes.
Mr. Trump has suggested that he’d order the U.S. military to kill families of Muslim terrorists and institute interrogation techniques worse than waterboarding, itself widely condemned as torture. Torture and retaliatory executions are both war crimes under international law.
In a recent interview, former National Security Agency and CIA director Michael Hayden said that the U.S. military might refuse such orders, which would constitute war crimes. The U.S. military has been trained for decades that an order to commit a war crime is not an legal order and thus must not be obeyed.
This was brought up by one of the moderators at the Fox News debate, and Mr. Trump brushed it aside. He said his personality would count more.
“They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me,” he said. “If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”