The task force on nuclear weapons management headed by former DOD and Department of Energy czar James Schlesinger will issue its Phase 2 report today. The gray-beard task force, which plans to hold a press briefing in the Pentagon, will be reporting on its review of nuclear stewardship across the DOD enterprise and proffering recommendations for improvements in accountability and control. Defense Secretary Robert Gates chartered the panel last June after two high-profile nuclear-related gaffes led to the dismissal of the Air Force’s then leadership duo, Michael Wynne and Gen. Michael Moseley. In September the task force issued its Phase 1 report on the Air Force’s nuclear stewardship. This work contained 33 recommendations that heavily influenced the changes that the Air Force is making to its nuclear operations, organization, and culture (see below). We’ll have more coverage on the Phase 2 report.
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.