Tuesday, September 25, 2007


There is a much used phrase in the English language - "military precision". If something is carried out efficiently we use "military precision" to denote an extremely smooth operation. We may have to get rid of that phrase though in view of recent developments.
"Nuclear warheads capable of unleashing the equivalent of 10 Hiroshima bombs were mistakenly flown across the United States by a bomber crew who thought they were dummies, and the terrifying security lapse was not discovered for almost 36 hours, it has been revealed. The Pentagon is examining how so many vital checks and balances, painstakingly set out during the Cold War era, broke down causing an incident that military personnel are calling one of the biggest mistakes in US Air Force history.... The B-52 took off from the remote Minot air force base in North Dakota with 12 cruise missiles that were being taken out of commission and scheduled for burial in Louisiana. The warheads on the decommissioned missiles should have been replaced with dummies of the same weight, but personnel failed to notice that six of the 12 were fully operational nuclear warheads." (Independent, 25 September) RD

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