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"Forget the Rest" blog


(The following is a notice pertaining to the previous letter below.)
KAFB event is closed to the public after all; no Coffee Club

February 3, 2016

Dear friends --

As it turns out, and contrary to the formal announcement, this Friday's panel discussion at the School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS) at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) is only open to those members of the "public" who hold badges enabling entry to KAFB, or who enter the base in a car with a badge-holder.

I had put in a call to the SANDS director Adam Lowther yesterday about logistics and this morning he called back with this news.  In our conversation it seemed as if the concept of discussing nuclear issues with "civilians or "the public" without base access was not overtly ridiculous, but not something he had thought of. 

The Albuquerque Journal will be at the event, however, under a "long-standing arrangement" with the KAFB press office.  You can bet that any journalist who asks hard questions would not be granted such access by the KAFB press office. 

Tomorrow morning's proposed LASG "Coffee Club" gathering to discuss this event is also cancelled. We are rushing to meet deadlines here. 

In 2004 I spoke with the retired General Horner, now deceased, who led the bombing of Iraq in Desert Storm and who examined nuclear attack scenarios at that time, as requested by Colin Powell. The experience convinced both men that nuclear weapons had no utility and should be negotiated away.  Importantly in the present connection he said that most senior officers in the military shared his anti-nuclear views but what he chiefly feared was the possible development of a cadre of young Air Force officers whose career influences were too narrowly nuclear, who spent a lot of time with people from Sandia and Livermore and Los Alamos and STRATCOM, and who thereby developed an unchallenged nuclear ideology and "groupthink." He feared a nuclear weapons echo chamber or intellectual bubble.

That bogey is now a reality.  That's what SANDS is.

Greg and Trish

On Friday, KAFB will explain why we should stop worrying and love the bomb; LASG discussion Thursday morning

February 2, 2016

Dear friends –

This Friday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m, the School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS) at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) will host a panel discussion on "why the United States has a nuclear arsenal and how it contributes to the nation’s security."

The event will take place in the presentation room of the 377th Air Base Wing Headquarters building. There is no charge to attend, and no pre-registration is needed.  Eight presenters will lead the symposium.

This event may be of considerable interest to Study Group members, as it is to us.

We hope many of you will attend. Exactly how that will work out we do not know. Some imagination may be required.

We will discuss this event, its logistics and its content, in a special LASG "Coffee Club" gathering at our World Headquarters, 2901 Summit Place NE, on Thursday morning at 7:30 am. Come one, come all. 

The mission of SANDS is "to increase comprehensive knowledge of the nuclear enterprise by teaching military and civilians alike."

“When it [the panel discussion] is over, attendees should be able to explain to their mother in Des Moines why the United States has a nuclear arsenal and how it contributes to the nation’s security,” SANDS Director Dr. Adam Lowther said.

"SANDS is for the best and brightest of the command," said Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, former AFGSC commander and the driving force behind the school's creation. "It will draw on educators and curricula from across the nation. These students will be the 'Jedi Knights,' the really smart folks every combatant command wants."

Presumably this event is related to KAFB's 75th anniversary. From the Albuquerque Journal we learn that this past Friday Mayor Richard Berry told the gathered civic and military leaders that Albuquerque was “blessed to have Kirtland in our city.”

We thought you'd want to know, and we hope to see some of you Thursday. 

There are other important events coming -- two of which be the subject of a second email -- but for now we leave you with just this news, and this photo taken at KAFB or the Sunport in 1943, when generals Patton and Doolittle visited, helping set the stage for the economic and human development powerhouse, and that paragon of participatory democracy, that New Mexico is today.

Greg and Trish

Patton and Doolittle

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2901 Summit Place NE Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-265-1200

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