Air Force Shake-Up

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There is no precedent in American history for the hammer Secretary of Defense Robert Gates brought down on the Air Force last week.

In one day, one announcement, the top general and top civilian leader of the Air Force — both out. Canned.

Gates sited a "chain of failures" in U.S. nuclear security, including an Air Force bomber flying unauthorized over U.S. airspace with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles mounted on its wings. And the Air Force didn't even know they were there.

And that's just the beginning. This hour, On Point: Shake-up at the U.S. Air Force, and the story behind the story.Guests:

Tom Bowman, Pentagon correspondent for NPR

Loren Thompson, military analyst and chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, a nonprofit public-policy research organization. He previously served as Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

Erik Holmes, reporter for Air Force Times

Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

This program aired on June 10, 2008.


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