National Park Service, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of nuclear missiles have stood war-ready for decades in underground silos along remote stretches of America.
They're silent and unseen, and packed with almost unimaginable destructive power.
They're also a force in distress, if not in decline.
The number of intercontinental ballistic missiles — or ICBMs — is dwindling.
Their future defense role is in doubt, and missteps and leadership lapses documented by The Associated Press have raised questions about how the force is managed.
Once called America's "ace in the hole," the ICBM is the card never played. None has ever been fired in anger.
- Jason Chaffetz: Mitt Romney is leaving door...
- Feds chase treasure hunter turned fugitive
- 24-year-old American in North Korea sentenced...
- Video released showing beheading of British...
- Britain mourns aid worker slain by Islamic...
- Utah's Gov. Gary Herbert eyes more...
- Crews battle California wildfire amid heatwave
- Corporal punishment widespread, but declining
- Jason Chaffetz: Mitt Romney is leaving... 51
- Obama 'confident' of Islamic State... 19
- US, Arab allies committed to fighting... 15
- Here's how U.S. churches are changing... 14
- Faith groups speak out against Obama's... 13
- Ted Cruz was booed off stage for... 13
- Officials: No threat of Islamic State... 12
- Putin: Russia to focus on new offensive... 10