August 22, 2014 at 10:45AM
"desire for stronger use controls threatened to add complexity and uncertainty to the control of nuclear weapons." #readingToday

Although the description "adequately safe" was hardly reassuring, the possibility of America's nuclear weapons being rendered useless during wartime, when their locks somehow malfunctioned, was more worrisome to the Joint Chiefs. Even if the locking and unlocking mechanisms worked flawlessly, use of the weapons would depend on effective code management. If only a few people were allowed to know the code, then the death of those few or an inability to reach them in an emergency could prevent the weapons from being unlocked. But if the code was too widely shared, the locks would offer little protection against unauthorized use. The joint committee's desire for stronger use controls threatened to add complexity and uncertainty to the command and control of nuclear weapons. A State Department official summarized the military's position: "all is well with the atomic stockpile program and there is no need for any changes."

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser´╗┐