From Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, Commander of Global Strike Command via DoDBuzz.com:
“Nuclear weapons are strategic weapons, they’re political weapons,” he said. “Majors and master sergeants talk about 2,000 pound bombs, senators and secretaries of defense talk about nuclear weapons.”
It’s a great line, but is it true? What gets rewarded is what gets done, so how serious is the Air Force regarding early promotions, pay and bonuses, and prestige and developmental positions (like the right aide, exec, intern, PME, and command positions for the nuclear community)?
Consider, if you will, a useful longitudinal review, the the book Rise of the Fighter Generals.
How deep is today’s nuclear bench and how much growth is being made? And finally, how do we know if we’re making adequate progress towards our goals?
I’d offer passing the litany of nuclear inspections is an important, but not fully sufficient, metric.