scholars and rogues

Secretary of. . . deterrence?

In an interview at Aviation Week (following a Danger Room link), Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reiterated his support for the reliable replacement warhead. On the other hand, he provides room for hope. . .

. . . Gates will also be at the helm of the Pentagon during negotiations leading up to a renewal of the Start I nuclear arms reduction treaty. These discussions will take place during a tense period for U.S.-Russian relations. . . . Still, Gates says common ground can be reached on the Start negotiations. “There is a real possibility of going down below the 1,700-2,200 deployed warheads now,” Gates tells Aviation Week.

Though. . .

“I’d begin to get pretty nervous if we begin to talk about below 1,500 just in view of the array of countries developing these systems and modernization programs in both Russia and China.”

Hey, it is, after all, a START.

Many Issues Still Unaddressed by Gates
(Aviation Week has a talent for catchy titles, doesn’t it?)

Meanwhile Danger Room itself ran this, um, amusing story. . .
New Nuke Boss at the Pentagon


After a top-down review of the military’s management of the atomic arsenal, a blue-ribbon panel is recommending that the Pentagon create a new position to oversee nuclear deterrence.

In a briefing today at the Pentagon, former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger said the Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Management would recommend the creation of an “assistant secretary of defense for deterrence” post to shore up the shaky management of the nuclear enterprise. Nuclear deterrence, he told reporters, “has sometimes been neglected within the Department of Defense, as a whole” since the end of the Cold War. [Emphasis added.]

Keep deterrence alive!

(Wait, is that the sound of he-who-shall-not-be-deterred, Ayman al-Zawahiri, laughing?)