Report identifies four main culprits in nuclear cheating scandal
Robert Burns, AP – March 28, 2014
At least 82 nuclear launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base face disciplinary action for allegedly cheating on routine proficiency examinations, but four of those involved were apparently the most significant players in the scandal. Dubbed “librarians” by investigators, the four junior officers apparently played the biggest role in facilitating cheating, and three of the four were also involved in a drug scandal that came up around the same time. While most of those accused either cheated or failed to report cheating, the “librarians” played a more active role by, for example, sending classified answers to fellow officers via text messages.
Malmstrom commander to step down
Elaine M. Grossman, National Journal – March 27, 2014
Col. Robert Stanley, who commanded the ICBM wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, has resigned his post. With an internal report on the cheating scandal soon to be released, Col. Stanley has insisted that he had no knowledge of the cheating until an investigator brought it to his attention, but he admitted that, “I represent this wing to the world, and we let the American people down on my watch.” More senior leaders are also expected to be disciplined when the report comes out, and the junior officers involved may face courts-martial or other disciplinary measures.
“Semi-autonomous” NNSA has failed to effectively secure nukes, report says
Diane Barns, National Journal – March 27, 2014
According to a report issued by the Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, the National Nuclear Security Administration has failed in its oversight of US nuclear programs by allowing “systemic” management shortcomings, “complacency”, and a “loss of focus” to develop since the end of the Cold War. The initial report, however, does not endorse any particular model for reform. A full report to be released this summer is expected to contain such details.
Congress may push for sanctions connected to Iranian support for Hezbollah
Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor – March 27, 2014
Having failed to push through an overly broad sanctions bill that would have endangered the P5 + 1 negotiations with Iran, Congress is now looking to take a narrower approach, targeting Hezbollah with sanctions and interrupting Iranian funding of the terrorist organization. The tricky part is that Hezbollah is already subject to numerous sanctions, and it is unclear what more Congress can do to make life difficult for the group. The sanctions would have to identify new passages through which Hezbollah is funded, and it is unclear if the administration would support the legislation, even if the bill is decoupled from the nuclear issue.
James Schlesinger, former Cabinet member and nuclear strategist, dies
Timothy R. Smith, The Washington Post – March 27, 2014
Schlesinger, a former CIA chief and head of the Department of Energy under President Jimmy Carter, died yesterday at 85. As Secretary of Defense under Presidents Nixon and Ford, he aimed to reform U.S. nuclear strategy, which had previously rested on the doctrine of massive retaliation in the event of a nuclear exchange. Schlesinger “sought a more flexible policy that would prevent uncontrolled escalation by using limited strikes against military and industrial installations.”