WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is searching for the root causes of recent Air Force missteps but also for ways to make the nuclear warrior's job more attractive when the military has turned its attention away from such weapons.
On Friday Hagel recalled President John F. Kennedy's stark words that nuclear airmen "hold in their hands the most awesome destructive power that any nation or any man has ever conceived." Hagel said it is worrisome to realize that some of those same airmen may use drugs, cheat on their proficiency tests and have engaged in other dangerous misbehaviors.
The Associated Press in 2013 exposed a number of serious missteps in the nuclear missile force, including training gaps, leadership lapses and inspection failures.
Hagel now wants to know what ails the force.