WASHINGTON (AFP) - A task force called for the US Air Force to put its nuclear forces under a single command to halt a serious erosion in readiness that has undermined international confidence in the US N-deterrent. Led by former defence secretary James Schlesinger, the task force found "an unambiguous, dramatic and unacceptable decline in the air force's commitment to perform the nuclear mission and, until very recently, little has been done to reverse it." The outside panel conducted the review following two embarrassing mishaps: the mistaken shipment of nuclear weapons components to Taiwan in 2006 and the inadvertent transfer of nuclear armed cruise missiles on the wing of a B-52 bomber in 2007. Schlesinger said those incident had shaken confidence of US allies in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand in the US nuclear umbrella, raising the risk they will seek their own nuclear weapons. "Some have expressed increasing misgivings about whether or not they feel comfortable under the umbrella, and part of the task of the air force and of the Department of Defence will be to resuscitate their confidence," he said. The review found there had been a decline in nuclear expertise, and a dramatic weakening in stewardship and focus on "policies, procedures, munitions handling processes, security, and operational exercise of nuclear weapons." "As a result, the readiness of forces assigned the nuclear mission has seriously eroded," the panel's report said.