New Interactive Nuclear Notebook

A new interactive infographic detailing information on the world’s nuclear arsenals from 1945 to 2013 is now live on the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The Nuclear Notebook is published in the Bulletin and is written by FAS’ Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris. The research and data provided in the Notebook by Kristensen and Norris gives reliable information on worldwide nuclear force levels and trends that is widely cited by scholars, […]

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FAS Roundup: March 2, 2015

From the Blogs Battle of the Bands: Army Music Doctrine: The U.S. Army has issued a new doctrine on the role of music in military operations. Secrecy News has obtained a copy of the doctrine which “provides key guidance pertaining to the mission, organization, and operation of music performance units (MPUs)” — otherwise known as Army bands. “This manual should serve as a guide for training and operations based on the tenets of music supporting unified […]

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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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Seeking China-U.S. Strategic Nuclear Stability

“To destroy the other, you have to destroy part of yourself. To deter the other, you have to deter yourself,” according to a Chinese nuclear strategy expert. During the week of February 9th, I had the privilege to travel to China where I heard this statement during the Ninth China-U.S. Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics in Beijing. The Dialogue was jointly convened by the China Foundation for International Strategic Studies (CFISS) and the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). While the statements by participants were not-for-attribution, I can state that the person quoted is a senior official with extensive experience in China’s strategic nuclear planning. The main reason for my research travel was to work with Bruce MacDonald, FAS Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Technology, on a project examining the security implications of a possible Chinese deployment of strategic ballistic missile defense. We had discussions with […]

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Reflections on the 70th Anniversary of the Manhattan Project: Questions and Answers

I began my professional life by obtaining degrees in physics and entering a conventional academic career in teaching and astronomical research, but I had always been curious about the physics of the Manhattan Project and its role in ending World War II. With grants, publications and tenure established, I began to indulge this interest as a legitimate part of my work and about 20 years ago, to explore it in depth. As anybody that comes to this topic in more than a casual way will attest, it can grow into an obsession. I have now published two books on the Project, well over two dozen articles and book reviews in technical, historical, and semi-popular journals, and have made a number of presentations at professional conferences. Over this time I must have looked at thousands of archived documents and held hundreds of real and electronic conversations with other scientists, historians, and […]

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FAS Roundup: January 26, 2015

From the Blogs SSCI Wants Copies of Full Torture Report Returned: Senator Richard Burr, the new chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote to President Obama last week asking that all copies of the classified 6,700 page Committee report on CIA interrogation practices be returned immediately to the Committee. While the redacted summary of the report has been publicly released, the full report has not been made public. Among other things, the proposed return of the […]

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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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FAS Roundup: January 12, 2015

New Nuclear Notebook For the past 28 years, the Nuclear Notebook has provided policymakers and public with critical, unclassified estimates of worldwide nuclear arsenals. This includes research on what kind of weapons are deployed, where they are located, stockpile trends, and methods of delivery. Notebook authors Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at FAS, and Robert Norris, FAS Senior Fellow for Nuclear Policy, take a look at some of the major accomplishments of […]

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Size of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Remains Classified

The U.S. government will not categorically declassify the number of weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal once and for all, but it will consider declassification of the size of the prior year’s arsenal on a case by case basis, the Department of Energy said last week. In May 2010, the Obama Administration declassified the fact that there were 5,113 warheads in the U.S. arsenal as of September 2009. It was the first time in 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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