strategic nuclear weapons

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth reviews 2 Scots

When I studied politics in London, one of my lecturers was a fellow named Neil Kinnock, a Welshman who went on to lead the Labour Party. Kinnock, though he loved Wales and clearly understood the pride his countrymen took in their little patch, never joined the then-dominant Welsh nationalist group, Plaid Cymru. Kinnock knew being part… Keep reading →

DF-ST-82-03511

The Ukrainian crisis created by Russia’s aggressive adventurism has sparked much soul-searching among NATO’s commanders, western lawmakers and policymakers and the western defense world’s thinkerati. Should we bolster missile defenses in central Europe? What about the permanent US military presence in Europe? Has it gotten too small? Do we need to bolster America’s nuclear forces,… Keep reading →

minuteman-iii-missile

Outrage and worry greeted the news that some of the Air Force officers who would launch nuclear missiles were being investigated for drug use. More outrage and worry greeted the news that a substantial number of the crews who would launch nuclear missiles cheated on the written tests they must regularly take. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee… Keep reading →

SecAF James and Lt. Gen. Wilson

PENTAGON: Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James spent most of last week talking with the officers and enlisted men who control and protect America’s nuclear missiles. She told reporters today she believes the service’s nuclear missile force — hit by drugs, a cheating scandal that now embroils 92 officers, and several other recent mishaps — is… Keep reading →

B61 being dropped by B-2

When talking about nuclear policies and programs, defense leaders often emphasize that “the Cold War is over.” But given a chance to explain what is strategically different and how policies and programs need to be changed, they duck and cover. Take, for example, a recent congressional hearing on the B61 nuclear bomb. The Defense and… Keep reading →

icbm-in-silo2a

WASHINGTON: I live in a pretty old house and the doors stick sometimes. In summer they expand because of the fabulous DC humidity. Then there’s the whole settling thing, when the house sinks, the door frame warps and the door sticks. So when I heard the blast doors at Air Force ICBM silos were sticking… Keep reading →

Pentagon & beyond - view of DC over river - 032113-Pentagon-full

  PENTAGON: A second senior nuclear commander in a week has been relieved of his post today. Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, deputy commander of the 20th Air Force, was fired after “a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment,” the Air Force said in a statement. Carey is the deputy commander responsible for… Keep reading →


The defense budget is going down…have you heard? The presidential campaign is shedding a lot of heat, but very little light on this reality; you won’t hear much of substance about how or where it will go down. Or much sensible or reasonable discussion about how we manage a defense build-down in a way that saves money while ensuring we continue to be as secure as we are today.

In one nook and cranny of this discussion we find America’s nuclear arsenal, almost forgotten in the age of counter-insurgency and nation building. As the administration considers next steps in the size and shape of our strategic nuclear weapons, there has been a small tempest over the question of how much we spend on our strategic nuclear forces. Keep reading →