• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • ICBMs Continue to Be an Important National Security Asset

    Newscom

    Newscom

    The U.S. Air Force recently stripped 17 officers of their authority to control and launch intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) after inspections indentified potential problems that could endanger U.S. national security. Although the incident did not impact security and operational readiness of U.S. ICBM forces, the Air Force is right to respond by taking appropriate corrective steps.

    These officers, and others like them, are continually certified and trained for ICBM operations. While the officers were able to pass their inspection, the results pointed to a troubling trend in their performance. Ultimately, the commander decided the officers should be subjected to additional training to prevent these shortcomings from impacting real-time ICBM operations.

    Identifying problems before they impact real-time operations is the core purpose of Air Force inspections. The successful identification of potential problems before they could endanger national security illustrates why maintaining the Air Force’s standards of excellence is so important. These standards of excellence, however, cannot be taken for granted. Carrying out inspections come at a cost—albeit a worthy one. That is why it is essential that the Air Force is properly resourced.

    It is also important to point out that if sequestration continues, the ICBM leg of the nuclear triad might be dismantled, according to former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s letter from November 2011. In this dangerous world, this would have potentially devastating consequences for U.S. national security. Of all the systems in the nuclear triad, ICBMs are the most numerous, most reliable, most cost-effective, and most responsive. They are invaluable in any potential large-scale crisis.

    Addressing security challenges includes understanding the requirement for a formidable military capable of deterring and defeating potential adversaries. That is why the U.S. cannot responsibly abandon its deterrent strategic capability.

    These forces continue to successfully fulfill the most important mission of all—deterring a devastating attack on the U.S. and its allies.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×