Maybe those former Air Force officers were right about extraterrestrials tampering with our nukes. Via Marc Ambinder:
President Obama was briefed this morning on a power failure at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming that took 50 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), one-ninth of the U.S. missile stockpile, temporarily offline on Saturday.
The base is a main locus of the United States’ strategic nuclear forces. The 90th Missile Wing, headquartered there, controls 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles. They’re on full-time alert and are housed in a variety of bunkers across the base.
On Saturday morning, according to people briefed on what happened, a squadron of ICBMs suddenly dropped down into what’s known as “LF Down” status, meaning that the missileers in their bunkers could no longer communicate with the missiles themselves. LF Down status also means that various security protocols built into the missile delivery system, like intrusion alarms and warhead separation alarms, were offline.
On a more serious note, check out Danger Room’s take on the incident here, though someone should tell Noah that we we’re still going to have up to 420 ICBMs under New START. In any event, we should want our missiles to work (and be safe and secure) with our without the treaty.