(The article said "loaded with six nuclear-armed cruise missiles" and reported this quote: " 'It is absolutely inexcusable that the Air Force lost track of these five nuclear warheads, even for a short period of time,' Representative Edward Markey, a Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement." - whatever the exact count, the point is that those nukes weren't supposed to be flying cross-country.)
This isn't a perfect world: not even close.
But, two top Air Force bosses - the top civilian official and the top military officer - resigned. After being encouraged to do so by Defense Secretary Gates.
It's about time. Apparently, officers in the Air Force had been sloppy about following rules for about 10 years: a distinctly non-trivial issue for people dealing with nuclear weapons. There were other problems, too.
I'm generally not glad about anyone losing a job, but this is probably for the best. With two other people in charge, there's a chance to sort out the problems - and the pair of forced resignations should encourage everyone involved to take their jobs more seriously.
- "Major Snafu Strikes Again: Taiwan Gets Nuclear Missile Parts"
(March 25, 2008)
- "Top 2 Air Force Officials Resign After 'Systemic Weaknesses' of Nuclear Arsenal Program Found"
FOXNews (June 5, 2008)
- "WASHINGTON — The results of a military investigation into four nuclear fuses sent to Taiwan this spring coupled with an accidental cross-country shipment last year of nuclear weapons by an Air Force bomber have cost the top two Air Force leaders their jobs.
- "Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the findings of the report regarding the Taiwan shipments Thursday, and said there has been an "erosion of performance standards" and there are "systemic weaknesses" in the Air Force's nuclear arsenal program."