United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced an overhaul of how the US nuclear weapon arsenal is maintained, calling for billions of dollars in investment to address recent security violations and low morale among nuclear-force management.
Hagel revealed on Friday the results of two reviews – one done by the Pentagon and another external probe – of US nuclear force maintenance protocol that, in recent years, has been beset by scandal. The reviews were ordered after reporting by AP showed security, safety, morale, and leadership lapses among the nuclear force.
“The root cause has been lack of sustained focus, attention and resources, resulting in a pervasive sense that a career in a nuclear enterprise offers too few opportunities for growth and advancement,” Hagel said Friday.
The reviews found that the leadership structure of US nuclear forces requires reform given officials have, in the recent past, been unaware of problematic behavior and focus from underlings. The reviews also pointed to “a nuclear workforce that was dedicated, capable, and performing well in spite of challenges resulting from being understaffed, under-resourced, and reliant on an aging and fragile supporting infrastructure in an over-inspected and overly risk-averse environment,” according to the Defense Department.