Unfortunately, one must admit that the security of America’s nuclear arsenal today remains a truly troublesome matter. This means that not only US citizens, but the people of the world remain hostages of Washington’s reckless policies. It’s sad but true that a whole region can be subjected to chaos and destruction at the will of US interests, as it has been repeatedly done in the Middle East and other areas of the world. What’s even worse, as Washington continues accumulating weapon stockpiles and nuclear warheads, one day we may wake up to witness the whole world being plunged in nuclear winter due to inadequate control over nuclear weapons.
Such grim predictions can be justified by the recently uncovered scandal involving systematic drug use among US military personnel stationed at Warren Airbase in Wyoming, which provides storage for American nuclear weapons. Recently the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Robin Rand, was forced to admit that there were habitual drug abuse among the officers of the 90th Missile Wing and Twentieth Air Force of the AFGSC. Those suspected of drug abuse have already been discharged at least for the period of the investigation.
As you may know, the Warren Airbase has been entrusted with the responsibility to launch nuclear strikes against any possible menace to US security at will. Therefore, Rand was very much on point when he noted that “trained professionals” were entrusted with a grave responsibility that they were supposed to undertake with honor. At least now we can decide whether or not we can sleep peacefully, while such people hold the fate of the world in their hands.
It must be emphasized that this was not the first time US strategic forces were accused of using drugs. Back in 2011, a massive scandal erupted when over fifty American sailors were caught using synthetic drugs on a regular basis. A total of 46 people were discharged from service on the USS Carl Vinson, which is also armed with nuclear weapons.
Time and time again certain American soldiers have shown criminal negligence while handling nuclear weapons. In 2013, there came a report that guards didn’t seal the doors of a nuclear bunker at a US military base, and a year later, soldiers damaged a Minuteman III nuclear warhead in Colorado during a routine check. There’s a handful of other incidences regarding inadequate security measures that US authorities have put in place, while having no fear whatsoever that a nuclear disaster may follow shortly afterwards.
It is curious that the case of the mishandled Minuteman III nuclear warhead was committed by the 320th Missile Squadron that is a part of the above mentioned 90th Missile Wing. As for General Robin Rand, he hesitated to report this incident for over six months in direct violation of instructions he was given only to label this case top secret afterwards to conceal the details from the public.
The lack of discipline and the low morale of the soldiers at Warren Airbase in Wyoming has been extensively covered by a number of Western media sources since 2014, but to this date, the US military has taken no steps to address the issue. So why should anyone be surprised by the fact that officers across America have grown accustomed to abusing drugs when they’re confident of the fact that their superiors are reluctant to hold them fully accountable?.
Therefore, instead of escalating tensions with North Korea, while running the risk of triggering a nuclear conflict, the White House would be better off instilling some sense among its own armed forces. It must able to provide the international community with evidence that it will not become the instigator of a nuclear war, intentionally, or inadvertently.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.