Gates Orders Full Nuclear Inventory

Missile fuses shipped to Taiwan were second mishap in a year
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2008 6:32 AM CDT
A Minuteman III missile being launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The US mistakenly sent 4 fuses for the nuclear-capable missiles to Taiwan, sparking a row with China.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Secretary of State Robert Gates has ordered Pentagon officials to take a new inventory of all US nuclear weapons and related equipment, the Washington Post reports. The count, to be completed in 60 days, is in addition to a specific probe into how 4 missile fuses were shipped accidentally to Taiwan and not noticed for 18 months.

China, not pleased with the slip-up, has called for an explanation from the US.The situation is “extremely embarrassing” for the Pentagon, insiders tell the Post. “Secretary Gates believes this situation is totally and completely unacceptable,” said his spokesman. US forces also mistakenly sent six nuclear warheads on a B-52 flight across several states last August.