AFA's Next Mitchell Hour Covers Nuclear-Convention Firebreaks and the Nuclear Taboo

May 22, 2013, 11:04 ET from Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies welcomes Barry Watts of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments as the guest speaker for an upcoming Mitchell Hour.

Mr. Watts will discuss his latest study, "Nuclear-Conventional Firebreaks and the Nuclear Taboo," and will provide insights into the motivations of countries to acquire nuclear weapons as a part of their national security strategies. In his study he states, "While the U.S. has made it a priority to change its nuclear posture and reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, other countries have not followed this lead. The leaders of most nuclear states and states with nuclear aspirations perceive nuclear arms to be of enduring value in meeting their security needs. The world is already well into a second nuclear age in which the bomb is proliferating for reasons very different from those of the strategic nuclear competition between the United States and the USSR during the Cold War."

Prior to joining CSBA in 2002, Mr. Watts lead the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation at the Defense Department from 2001-2002. After serving in the Air Force from 1986-2001 he worked within the Northrop Grumman Analysis Center, serving as director from 1997-2001. During his Air Force career, Mr. Watts flew a combat tour in Vietnam in F-4s, taught logic and philosophy at the U.S. Air Force Academy, served two tours in the Office of Net Assessment, and headed the Red Team in the Air Staff's Project Checkmate.

This Mitchell event will take place on Thursday, May 30, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., at AFA's national headquarters at 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA, next to the Key Bridge Marriott. The presentation will be in AFA's fourth floor boardroom.

All Mitchell Hours are free to the public. To register for this event, go to For additional information, contact Sarah Piggott at

The Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies is an independent, non-profit research, studies, and analysis organization founded by the Air Force Association. It takes its name from America's most famous and arguably greatest airman, Brig. Gen. William Mitchell. The Institute seeks to carry on, in the modern day, General Mitchell's tireless and dedicated effort to expand airpower thinking and increase public awareness of the need for this unique military instrument. For more information, visit

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.  To accomplish this, we:

  • EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
  • ADVOCATE for aerospace power and STEM education.
  • SUPPORT the Total Air Force family and promote aerospace education.

AFA has 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing more than 105,000 members.  Visit AFA on the internet at

SOURCE Air Force Association