'Systematic problems' threaten US nuclear force: Hagel

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel will unveil measures Friday designed to shore up the US military's troubled nuclear force after a spate of embarrassing incidents exposed management and morale problemsThe US nuclear force is plagued by declining morale, manpower shortages and mismanagement that could jeopardize its safety and effectiveness, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday. The Pentagon chief cited sobering results from two reviews and said the military had neglected the nuclear force as it had been preoccupied with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. Reviews ordered by the Pentagon “found evidence of systematic problems that if not addressed could undermine the safety, security and effectiveness of elements of the force in the future,” Hagel told reporters. The findings showed “a consistent lack of investment and support for our nuclear forces over far too many years has left us with too little margin to cope with mounting stresses,” he said.

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