Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Major Snafu Strikes Again: Taiwan Gets Nuclear Missile Parts


A few years ago, Taiwan's government asked for helicopter batteries. The American military sent them packages that the Taiwanese military stored in a warehouse.

Recently, someone broke open one of the packages. Surprise! Instead of helicopter batteries, they found four intercontinental ballistic missile nose-cone fuses.
  • Good news:
    There wasn't any fissile material - the stuff that provides the flash and boom of a nuclear bomb - in the packages
  • More Good News:
    The missile parts are obsolete: 1960s tech made for Minuteman missiles.
  • Bad News:
    This was a really big mistake: one that shouldn't have happened. Those missile parts might not be cutting-edge technology, but there is no way that somebody should have been able to mistake them for helicopter batteries and ship them overseas.
  • More Bad News:
    If this sounds familiar, it should. It was August, 2007, when "a B-52 bomber mistakenly carried six nuclear warheads from North Dakota to Louisiana. A six-week investigation uncovered a 'lackadaisical' attention to detail in day-to-day operations at the air bases involved"
Dumb! Really dumb! Also embarrassing.

This looks like the work of Major Snafu. We should be glad it wasn't his superior officer, General Disaster.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.