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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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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The INF Crisis: Bad Press and Nuclear Saber Rattling

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian online news paper Vzglaid is carrying a story that wrongly claims that I have said a Russian flight-test of an INF missile would not be a violation of the INF Treaty as long as the missile is not in production or put into service. That is of course wrong. I have not made such a statement, not least because it would be wrong. On the contrary, a test-launch of an […]

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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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FAS at Vienna Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

By Hans M. Kristensen For the next week I’ll be in Vienna for the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. This is the third in a series of conferences organized and attended by a growing number of countries and humanitarian organizations to discuss the unique risks nuclear weapons pose to humanity and life on this planet. According to the Austrian government: “With this conference, Austria wishes to strengthen the global nuclear disarmament and […]

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Pentagon Review To Fix Nuclear Problems – Again

Less than a decade after the Pentagon conducted a major review to fix problems in the nuclear management of U.S. nuclear forces, the Pentagon today announced the results of yet another review. The new review identifies more than 100 fixes that are needed to correct management and personnel issues. The fixes “will cost several billion dollars over the five-year defense spending program in addition to ongoing modernization requirements identified in last year’s budget submission.” The […]

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Pentagon Review To Fix Nuclear Problems – Again

Less than a decade after the Pentagon conducted a major review to fix problems in the nuclear management of U.S. nuclear forces, the Pentagon today announced the results of yet another review. The new review identifies more than 100 fixes that are needed to correct management and personnel issues. The fixes “will cost several billion dollars over the five-year defense spending program in addition to ongoing modernization requirements identified in last year’s budget submission.” The […]

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The New York Times: Which President Cut the Most Nukes?

By Hans M. Kristensen The New York Time today profiles my recent blog about U.S. presidential nuclear weapon stockpile reductions. The core of the story is that the Obama administration, despite its strong arms control rhetoric and efforts to reduce the numbers and role of nuclear weapons, so far has cut fewer nuclear warheads from the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile than any other administration in history. Even in terms of effect on the overall stockpile size, […]

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