Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nuclear Weapons Security: The Most Pressing Critical Issue Facing Mankind

The nuclear bomb in question in this posting 
(The B61)

We must do everything possible to prevent this

The headline from the story here is damn scary and should be a major concern especially for anyone seeking to be the next president and CINC of our Armed Forces and particularly of our nuclear forces, and by extension for the safety and security of the country and free world.

Preface: I am not one for hyperbole or chest-beating or hand-wringing, but this is a very serious matter that needs immediate attention (behind the scenes I hope it is getting proper attention at the highest level possible).

| … security at the European sites varied widely – most did not meet 
U.S. nuclear weapons protection standards.

This recent event ties directly into that headlines: The recent military coup attempt in Turkey multiple organizations have raised appropriate concerns about the 50 U.S. nuclear bombs stored at a Turkish Air Base less than 70 miles away from the Syrian border.

While this new interest is warranted, the security vulnerabilities of the 131 U. S. made B-61 nuclear bombs currently deployed at military bases in Belgium, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands have been a growing concern for almost a decade.

Those bombs are relics of Cold War and the perceptions of reassurance, however they are now more of a liability than a legitimate international security strategy.

Given how uncertain the security situation is in Europe, particularly in Belgium and Turkey, it’s time to consider just how useful, or not, these weapons actually are.

In 2012 and again in 2013, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) wrote letters to the Secretary of Defense questioning the military efficacy of keeping these bombs in Europe when faced with mounting costs and troubling security concerns. Although these weapons are protected by U. S. military personnel, the overall security of the sites where they’re stored is the responsibility of the host nation.

This can be dangerous if, in the case of the recent events in Turkey, there is an abrupt change in national leadership. The Washington Post reported that one of the Turkish officers detained after the coup was the commander of the base where the nukes are kept.
Plus, God forbid if ISIS or any other terrorist group ever got their hands on even one nuclear weapon… and be assured, they want to achieve that therefore security of nuclear weapons anywhere should be of paramount concern to everyone around the globe. All it would take is one nuclear bomb in the wrong hands to cause historic damage and suffering on a massive scale.

Finally, as far back as 2008, an U. S. Air Force Blue Ribbon review found that security at the European sites varied widely, and most did not meet U.S. nuclear weapons protection standards.

Some security requirements — including armored vehicles and perimeter fencing — were underfunded, leading the review to conclude: “The United States Air Force must continue to emphasize to its host nation counterparts their requirement to honor security commitments.” 

Thanks for stopping by and a big thanks to “Project On Government Oversight” (POGO) for their fine article.

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