Michael Carey: The US general with a finger on the button – and a foot in his mouth

Report claims Air Force general displayed behaviour 'unbecoming to a gentleman' on official trip to Russia

A US Air Force general in charge of nuclear weapons repeatedly drank too much and displayed behaviour “unbecoming of a gentleman” last summer during an official trip to Moscow, where he insulted his Russian hosts and was seen with two suspicious women he met at a hotel bar, according to an investigative report.

Major-General Michael Carey, who was commander of the Air Force’s arsenal of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, “acted in a manner that exceeded the limits of accepted standards of good conduct” during a four-day visit to Moscow in July, according to an investigation conducted by the Air Force inspector general.

Maj-Gen Carey’s behaviour stunned his aides and other colleagues travelling with him for a nuclear security exercise and meetings with Russian officials. They said he started drinking during a stopover in Zurich and kept it up during three days in Moscow, causing a string of gaffes and embarrassments that led Air Force officials to relieve him of his command.

Maj-Gen Carey was fired in October from his job as commander of the 20th Air Force, which is responsible for maintaining and operating the country’s ICBMs. At the time, Air Force leaders said he was under investigation for “personal misbehaviour” but divulged few details because the case was pending.

According to the investigative report, Maj-Gen Carey had some unusual encounters with foreign women during his stay in Moscow. On his first night in the city, he and a colleague met two women at the rooftop bar of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The next night the foursome went out drinking and dancing. Maj-Gen Carey described them as “hot women”.

The women told the two Americans that they were in the travel business, but were vague about whether they were Russian or British. The report does not allege that anything untoward happened beyond the drinking and dancing, but Maj-Gen Carey later acknowledged to investigators that he was suspicious about their overt friendliness toward a visiting US military commander in charge of nuclear secrets.

“It just seemed kind of peculiar that we saw them one night and then saw them again later while we were there,” he told investigators. “For people who are in business to be kind of conveniently in the same place where we’re at, it seemed odd to me.”

Despite those concerns, Maj-Gen Carey also socialised into the early hours with a female shop assistant from a hotel tobacco shop, which likewise raised eyebrows among US officials.

The report says he told Air Force investigators: “A tobacco store lady talking about physics in the wee hours of the morning doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. You need to watch out for that because that’s just like our training says, you know, people are trolling for information.”

Although Maj-Gen Carey defended his actions to investigators, other members of his delegation said they were shocked by his behaviour.

One female US official, whose name was redacted, told investigators: “I realised that this was putting us all at risk, especially Russia and women, and I just wanted nothing to do with that.”

@ The Washington Post

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing