The Air Force intends to convene a summit later this year to plot the way ahead to reinvigorate its nuclear mission. USAF officials told the Daily Report that the summit will convene sometime after the service’s newly created nuclear task force concludes its work. Acting Air Force Secretary Michael Donley announced the creation of the task force on June 30. It is charged with coordinating corrective actions already underway and developing a strategic “roadmap for rebuilding” USAF’s tarnished nuclear enterprise. The task force, whose membership has not yet been announced, will provide an interim update in 30 days, a draft roadmap in 60 days, and the final product in 90 days, leading to the summit, the officials said. The roadmap “will thoroughly address the principal themes of process, culture, and structure,” the officials said. The officials said the task force “will identify root causes for the systemic failures” in USAF’s nuclear stewardship highlighted in the Donald Report. As it conducts it own work into USAF’s nuclear enterprise, the task force will also support the work of the independent review group that Defense Secretary Robert Gates established in early June to look into organizational, procedural, and policy improvements across DOD’s entire nuclear enterprise.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.