FAS Roundup: May 11, 2015

How South Korea Could Acquire and Deploy Nuclear Weapons With security concerns in Northeast Asia regarding North Korea’s build up of its nuclear weapons arsenal, there is a possibility that states in the region, including South Korea and Japan, would consider and start to develop nuclear weapons. In a new paper published by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson examines the rationale for South Korea to acquire these weapons, and presents […]

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Obama Administration Releases New Nuclear Warhead Numbers

By Hans M. Kristensen In a speech to the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York earlier today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed new information about the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Updated Stockpile Numbers First, Kerry updated the DOD nuclear stockpile history by declaring that the stockpile as of September 2014 included 4,717 nuclear warheads. That is a reduction of 87 warheads since September 2013, when the DOD stockpile […]

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FAS Roundup: April 27, 2015

Russia Nuclear Forces, 2015 Currently, Russia is modernizing its strategic and nonstrategic warheads; it currently has 4,500 nuclear warheads and 1,780 are deployed on missiles and bomber bases. Additionally, there are 700 strategic warheads and 2,000 nonstrategic warheads in storage, and an estimated 3,200 retired but largely intact warheads awaiting dismantlement. In the latest Nuclear Notebook, Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris examine Russia’s nuclear arsenal and strategy. Despite Russian nuclear threats, they are not building […]

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Is China Planning To Build More Missile Submarines?

By Hans M. Kristensen Is China increasing production of nuclear ballistic missile submarines? Over the past few months, several US defense and intelligence officials have stated for the record that China is planning to build significantly more nuclear-powered missile submarines than previously assumed. This would potentially put a bigger portion of China’s nuclear arsenal out to sea, a risky proposition, and further deepen China’s unfortunate status as the only nuclear-armed state party to the nuclear […]

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New Nuclear Notebook: Russian Nuclear Forces 2015

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian nuclear weapons have received a lot of attention lately. Russian officials casually throw around direct or thinly veiled nuclear threats (here, here and here). And U.S. defense hawks rail (here and here) about a Russian nuclear buildup. In reality, rather than building up, Russia is building down but appears to be working to level off the force within the next decade to prevent further unilateral reduction of its strategic nuclear force […]

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FAS Roundup: April 20, 2015

From the Blogs No Fly List: Govt Offers New Redress Procedures: The government will no longer refuse to confirm or deny that persons who are prevented from boarding commercial aircraft have been placed on the “No Fly List,” and such persons will have new opportunities to challenge the denial of boarding, the Department of Justice announced in a court filing. Until now, the Government refused to acknowledge whether or not an individual traveler had been placed on the […]

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FAS Roundup: April 6, 2015

From the Blogs New START Treaty Count: Russia Dips Below U.S. Again: According to the latest data released by the State Department, Russian deployed strategic warheads counted by the New START Treaty once again slipped below the U.S. force level. Russia deployed 1,582 warheads on 515 strategic launchers and the United States deployed 1,597 warheads on 785 launchers. Russia and the United States are slowly – very slowly – reducing their deployed forces to meet the […]

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New START Treaty Count: Russia Dips Below US Again

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian deployed strategic warheads counted by the New START Treaty once again slipped below the U.S. force level, according to the latest fact sheet released by the State Department. The so-called aggregate numbers show that Russia as of March 1, 2015 deployed 1,582 warheads on 515 strategic launchers. The U.S. count was 1,597 warheads on 785 launchers. Back in September 2014, the Russian warhead count for the first time in the […]

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FAS Roundup: March 9, 2015

US Nuclear Forces, 2015 Over the next decade, the United States plans to spend as much as $350 billion on nuclear force modernization and maintenance. In the latest Nuclear Notebook, FAS’ Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris estimate that the United States maintains about 4,760 nuclear warheads. Of this total, 2,080 warheads are deployed while 2,680 are in storage for potential upload onto missiles and aircraft. Additionally, there are 2,340 retired (but still intact) […]

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The Nuclear Weapons “Procurement Holiday”

By Hans M. Kristensen It has become popular among military and congressional leaders to argue that the United States has had a “procurement holiday” in nuclear force planning for the past two decades. “Over the past 20-25 years, we took a procurement holiday” in modernizing U.S. nuclear forces, Major General Garrett Harencak, the Air Force’s assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, said in a speech yesterday. Harencak’s claim strongly resembles the […]

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