Defense

Pentagon withholding nuclear weapons inspection results: report

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The Pentagon has started withholding the results of inspections of its nuclear weapons operations, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Overall inspection results, such as “pass-fail” grades, at the country’s nuclear weapons facilities were previously made public. But the Pentagon told the AP that by ending such disclosures, it’s hoping to withhold key information about the U.S. nuclear arsenal from the country’s adversaries. 

 

U.S. nuclear weapons operations have faced a bevy of embarrassing failings and shortcomings in past year stemming from security blunders, substandard performance, insufficient funding and poor leadership.

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By withholding inspection results, the Pentagon is following a recommendation generated by an internal review of shortcomings in the country’s nuclear arsenal, including where and how the weapons are kept and the workers responsible for them. 

Chuck Hagel, the former defense secretary under former President Barack Obama, ordered the internal review, as well as a separate study by an independent group, in 2014. 

The recommendation to withhold inspection results was put forward in the internal review, which remains secret. 

The Air Force personnel office posted on its website last month that the overall results of the inspections could no longer appear in personnel documents, such as performance reports. 

But that change began taking effect in the Navy in March, according to the AP. The Navy oversees the country’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles, while the Air Force operates aerial bombers and land-based missiles — in all, the three components that make up the nuclear triad.

Tags Air Force Barack Obama Chuck Hagel Defense Department Navy

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