“I’d like to understand what Plan B is,” Chairman Bob Corker told Blinken. “The mysterious Plan B that has been referred to since February, the Plan B that was supposed to be leveraged to get Russia to quit killing innocent people, that would get Assad to stop killing innocent people. Just explain to us the elements of Plan B.”
The U.S. has developed and deployed nothing new in the strategic nuclear force since the late 1980’s. If you’ve been following these developments, this is nothing new under the sun from the last five to ten years. The only thing that should be new news is the level of complacency, neglect and urgency needed to stem the tide — of which only a small chance of doing so remains possible.
The prevailing view in the United States is that Nuclear Weapons are Cold War Relics while it also believes its adversaries create new ones, collect and expand their collection like children do LEGOS for fun.
U.S. strategic nuclear forces, both weapons and personnel, are experiencing serious problems that must be addressed urgently.
That is a central conclusion of a new study called the “Nuclear Enterprise Review” that the Pentagon is expected to release next week, according to defense officials familiar with the study.
Fixing nuclear forces’ problems will require the investment of billions of defense dollars in modernizing systems and greater leadership attention to training and readiness for the thousands of military personnel who operate and maintain the world’s most powerful arsenal.
The findings were made by an independent review panel on nuclear weapons personnel that identified key leadership and management lapses within nuclear forces.
The review followed several troubling incidents involving nuclear forces and personnel, including a cheating scandal uncovered in January on proficiency testing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, home of 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles. The scandal ensnared 34 troops.
Germany’s Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine’s constitution.
Putin defended breakaway moves by pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, where Russian forces tightened their grip on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula by seizing another border post and a military airfield. Continue reading