FAS Nuclear Notebook Published: Russian Nuclear Forces, 2016

By Hans M. Kristensen In our latest FAS Nuclear Notebook published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Norris and I take the pulse on Russia’s nuclear arsenal, reviewing its strategic modernization programs and the status of its non-strategic nuclear forces. Despite what you might read in the news media and on various web sites, the Russian […]

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Nuclear Transparency and the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan

By Hans M. Kristensen I was reading through the latest Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and wondering what I should pick to critique the Obama administration’s nuclear policy. After all, there are plenty of issues that deserve to be addressed, including: – Why NNSA continues to overspend and […]

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New START Data Shows Russian Increases and US Decreases

By Hans M. Kristensen [Updated April 3, 2016] Russia continues to increase the number of strategic warheads it deploys on its ballistic missiles counted under the New START Treaty, according to the latest aggregate data released by the US State Department. The data shows that Russia now has almost 200 strategic warheads more deployed than […]

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Questions About The Nuclear Cruise Missile Mission

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on March 16, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member of the committee, said that U.S. Strategic Command had failed to convince her that the United States needs to develop a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile; the LRSO (Long-Range Standoff missile). “I recently met with Admiral Haney, the head of Strategic […]

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New B-21 Bomber or B-2 Mod 1?

By Hans M. Kristensen The US Air Force has published the first official image of the next-generation bomber, formerly known as LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber). Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James revealed the image during her talk to the 2016 Air Warfare Symposium and gave it its official designation: B-21. The “21” refers to the […]

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PBS Newshour Takes On The Holy Nuclear Triad

By Hans M. Kristensen It has almost become dogma: the United States needs to keep a Triad of strategic nuclear forces. Therefore, expensive modernization of every leg is necessary plus a fourth leg of non-strategic fighter-jets. Oh, and don’t forget nuclear command and control systems such as terminals and satellites. Without that, deterrence of potential adversaries […]

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Pentagon Portrays Nuclear Modernization As Response to Russia

By Hans M. Kristensen The final defense budget of the Obama administration effectively crowns this administration as the nuclear modernization leader of post-Cold War U.S. presidencies. While official statements so far have mainly justified the massive nuclear modernization as simply extending the service-life of existing capabilities, the Pentagon now explicitly paints the nuclear modernization as […]

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RAND Report Questions Nuclear Role In Defending Baltic States

By Hans M. Kristensen The RAND Corporation has published an interesting new report on how NATO would defend the Baltic States against a Russian attack. Without spending much time explaining why Russia would launch a military attack against the Baltic States in the first place – the report simply declares “the next [after Ukraine] most […]

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Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons At Sea

By Hans M. Kristensen Remember during the Cold War when US Navy warships and attack submarines sailed the World’s oceans bristling with nuclear weapons and routinely violated non-nuclear countries’ bans against nuclear weapons on their territories in peacetime? The weapons were onboard ballistic missile submarines, attack submarines, aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, frigates and supply […]

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