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Thursday, July 25, 2013


Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor
July 19, 2013

The Obama Administration is believed to be set to pick retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz as the next administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, NW&M Monitor has learned. The exact timeline for Klotz’s nomination remains unclear, but officials with knowledge of the search said the former Global Strike Command chief was picked over former Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Mike Anastasio, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs Madelyn Creedon, and former Naval Reactors chief Kirkland Donald. Klotz will replace Tom D’Agostino, who retired in December, as well as a pair of acting administrators: Neile Miller and Bruce Held.

Klotz retired from the Air Force in 2011 after standing up Global Strike Command, and has worked since then as a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. During his Air Force career, he commanded a strategic missile squadron and operations group at Grand Forks Air Force Base and a missile wing at Minot Air Force Base. He also headed up Air Force Space Command’s 20th Air Force and Strategic Command’s Task Force 214, and worked as Director for Nuclear Policy and Arms Control with the National Security Council at the White House and as a defense attaché at the American embassy in Moscow.

According to published writing during his post-Air Force career, Klotz’s positions on arms control and nuclear weapons align nicely with those of the Obama Administration. Last month, he came out in support of the President’s Berlin speech that outlined a goal to reduce the size of the nation’s strategic deployed stockpile to around 1,000 warheads, calling it a “pragmatic and workable basis for forging a sustainable, bipartisan consensus on nuclear weapons and arms control policy” in an op-ed for The National Interest. “The approach taken by President Obama and his administration actually represents a relatively moderate and measured effort to reconcile two dominant, but different themes in current American thinking about nuclear weapons,” he wrote. “The first is the belief that the United States should continue to lead international efforts to limit and reduce nuclear arsenals, prevent nuclear proliferation, and secure nuclear materials. The second is the belief that appropriately sized nuclear forces still play an essential role in protecting U.S. and allied security interests.”

On the topic of the weapons complex and arsenal, he wrote that “the United States still needs to maintain modern, survivable and effective nuclear forces to deter the use or threatened use of nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies, however improbable that may now appear.” The President’s plan outlined in Berlin provides “the basic elements of a broad consensus on what needs to be done to sustain our nuclear forces in an uncertain world populated by other nuclear powers,” he wrote. “They can and should be used to advance an agenda that combines necessary modernization and reductions tailored to serve American and allied security interests.”

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