New Chief Aims To Restore Air Force's Reputation
by Tom Bowman
(original article on npr)

The Air Force has a new top officer - Gen. Norton Schwartz - who says he plans to focus on getting more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to Iraq, and on improving the handling of nuclear weapons.

Schwartz, a 56-year-old officer from small town New Jersey, replaces Gen. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, who was fired by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in June for Air Force mishaps involving the handling of nuclear weapons - and amid complaints that the Air Force wasn't doing enough to help ground forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Schwartz says he may set up a new nuclear command, like the defunct Strategic Air Command, or place a more senior officer in charge.


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It's high time we do something about our nuclear arsenal. Design, management, deployment, policies, the whole enchilada. To whom much is given, much is required. I’m not going to get started here on this blog (not today – but catch me after the Consecration), but I will say that our nation holds such immense power in its hands, yet in taking that strength for granted we are watching it crumble. I hope our leadership will lead a drive to look, not only how the Air Force manages these weapons, but also how we (as a nation) employ them, and what we (as a nation) can do to preserve the knowledge that can only be gained by working with these materials. Knowledge that is dying off as we speak. It’s not that I want to nuke the world. But if the world is going to have nukes, I want to have the best. And be able to use them. Well, I said I wasn’t going to get started, and I feel the “old man” rising up. So let me “crucify him,” hit the sack, and we’ll take up this discussion after the Fast.

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