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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Rumors About Nuclear Weapons in Crimea

The news media and private web sites are full of rumors that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons to Crimea after it invaded the region earlier this year. Many of these rumors are dubious and overly alarmist and ignore that a nuclear-capable weapon is not the same as a nuclear warhead. Several U.S. lawmakers who oppose nuclear arms control use the Crimean deployment to argue against further reductions of nuclear weapons. NATO’s top commander, U.S. General […]

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CIA Torture Report: Oversight, But No Remedies Yet

The release of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program is, among other things, an epic act of record preservation. Numerous CIA records that might not have been disclosed for decades, or ever, were rescued from oblivion by the Senate report and are now indelibly cited and quoted, even if many of them are not yet released in full. That’s not a small thing, since the history of […]

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Energy Policy and National Security: The Need for a Nonpartisan Plan

As I write this president’s message, the U.S. election has just resulted in a resounding victory for the Republican Party, which will have control of both the Senate and House of Representatives when the new Congress convenes in January. While some may despair that these results portend an even more divided federal government with a Democratic president and a Republican Congress, I choose to view this event as an opportunity in disguise in regards to the important and urgent issue of U.S. energy policy. President Barack Obama has staked a major part of his presidential legacy on combating climate change. He has felt stymied by the inability to convince Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to mandate substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, his administration has leveraged the power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to craft rules that will, in effect, force the closure of many of the biggest […]

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