Gates: Air Force may consolidate nuclear control

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Air Force will consider consolidating under a single command all responsibility for management of its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Gates made the statement at a Pentagon news conference where an advisory group was releasing its recommendations on ways to improve the Air Force's handling of its nuclear weapons mission.

He said the advisory group, led by former defense secretary James Schlesinger, is recommending that a new Air Force command be created to consolidate the nuclear weapons responsibilities. Gates also said that while the Schlesinger panel makes a convincing argument for this, he is not certain about it. He said it will be a matter for Air Force leaders to consider and decide.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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