AP Exclusive: U.S. Tightens Security on Nuclear Inspections

FILE – In this June 24, 2014 file photo, a gate is closed at an ICBM launch control facility in the countryside outside Minot, N.D., on the Minot Air Force Base. The Pentagon has thrown a cloak of official secrecy over assessments of how safely and securely its nuclear weapons are operated, maintained and guarded, closing a window onto an already obscure part of the military with a history of periodic inspection failures and lapses in morale. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has thrown a cloak of secrecy over assessments of the safety and security of its nuclear weapons operations, a part of the military with a history of periodic inspection failures and bouts of low morale.

Overall results of routine inspections at nuclear weapons bases, such as a “pass-fail” grade, had previously been publicly available. They are now off-limits. The change goes beyond the standard practice of withholding detailed information on the inspections. Continue reading

White House Blocks Pentagon Report on Russian Treaty Breach

House chairman urges fast U.S. response to Moscow’s INF missile breach

The White House is blocking the release of a Pentagon risk assessment of Russia’s violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to a senior House leader.

Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, disclosed the existence of the Pentagon assessment last month and said the report is needed for Congress’ efforts to address the problem in legislation.

“As we look to the near-term future, we need to consider how we’re going to respond to Russia’s INF violations,” Rogers said in an Air Force Association breakfast July 8. “Congress will not continue to tolerate the administration dithering on this issue.” Continue reading

Russia Says It Can Deploy Nuclear Arms to Crimea

Moscow to bolster military in occupied Ukrainian peninsula

Russia’s envoy to the NATO alliance said on Friday that Moscow will bolster military forces in occupied Ukraine, and is not banned from deploying nuclear arms in Crimea.

“Everything that we do in Crimea fully complies with all obligations of the Russian Federation under international treaties. We do not violate anything, there are no prohibitions on us deploying certain weapons systems,” said Alexander Grushko, the envoy, when asked if nuclear arms would be placed in Crimea.

Grushko also declined to say whether nuclear arms currently are deployed inside the Ukrainian territory forcibly annexed by Russia in March 2014. He made the remarks in a video press conference from Moscow with reporters in Brussels, where NATO headquarters is located. Continue reading