Posted by Courtney E. Howard
Now former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne is not the only one to have "read with regret" the findings a report by Adm. Kirkland Donald.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, based on the findings of an investigation by Donald, forced Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley to step down. Gates announced today that he accepted the resignations of Moseley and Wynne.
According to Gates and the Donald report, the ousted officials failed to ensure the security of sensitive materials, including those relating to nuclear weapons. Donald reported weaknesses in the way critical materials are handled. Among the damning evidence against Wynne and Moseley are the mistaken shipment to Taiwan of four Air Force electrical fuses for ballistic missile warheads, as well as the flight of a B-52 bomber mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles last August.
The report also concluded that the Air Force's nuclear standards have been in a long decline, a "problem that has been identified but not effectively addressed for over a decade." An internal investigation found "a decline in the Air Force's nuclear mission focus and performance" and a failure by Air Force leaders to respond effectively, says Gates.
Gates asked a former defense secretary, James Schlesinger, to lead a task force to recommend ways to ensure that the highest levels of accountability and control are maintained in Air Force’s handling of nuclear weapons.
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