Center for American Progress

The U.S. Air Force’s Indifference Toward Nuclear Weapons
Article

The U.S. Air Force’s Indifference Toward Nuclear Weapons

During the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force received a bulk of the country's defense budget because of its significant role in delivering nuclear weapons. But after the Soviet Union disintegrated, the air force became more interested in traditional air missions and the next generation of fighter planes. This disinterest manifested itself in two recent nuclear-related mishaps that cost the air force chief of staff and secretary their jobs. Generally, the military considers nuclear weapons costly and unnecessary, as conventional weapons can capably complete nuclear missions.

Article Highlights

  • During the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force received a bulk of the country’s defense budget because of its significant role in delivering nuclear weapons.
  • But after the Soviet Union disintegrated, the air force became more interested in traditional air missions and the next generation of fighter planes.
  • This disinterest manifested itself in two recent nuclear-related mishaps that cost the air force chief of staff and secretary their jobs.
  • Generally, the military considers nuclear weapons costly and unnecessary, as conventional weapons can capably complete nuclear missions.

Read the full article here.

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Authors

Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow

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