New START: Russia and the United States Increase Deployed Nuclear Arsenals

By Hans M. Kristensen Three and a half years after the New START Treaty entered into force in February 2011, many would probably expect that the United States and Russia had decisively reduced their deployed strategic nuclear weapons. On the contrary, the latest aggregate treaty data shows that the two nuclear superpowers both increased their […]

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Russia Declared In Violation Of INF Treaty: New Cruise Missile May Be Deploying

By Hans M. Kristensen The United States yesterday publicly accused Russia of violating the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The accusation was made in the State Department’s 2014 Compliance Report, which states: “The United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to […]

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What Are Acceptable Nuclear Risks?

When I read Eric Schlosser’s acclaimed 2013 book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, I found a tantalizing revelation on pages 170-171, when it asked, “What was the ‘acceptable’ probability of an accidental nuclear explosion?” and then proceeded to describe a 1957 Sandia Report, “Acceptable Premature Probabilities for Nuclear Weapons,” which dealt […]

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Italy’s Nuclear Anniversary: Fake Reassurance For a King’s Ransom

By Hans M. Kristensen In December 1963, a shipment of U.S. nuclear bombs arrived at Ghedi Torre Air Base in northern Italy. Today, half a century later, the U.S. Air Force still deploys nuclear bombs at the base. The U.S.-Italian nuclear collaboration was celebrated at the base in January. A placard credited the nuclear “NATO […]

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DOD Report Shows Chinese Nuclear Force Adjustments and US Nuclear Secrecy

The Pentagon’s latest annual report to Congress on the Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China describes continued broad modernization and growing reach of Chinese military forces and strategy. There is little new on the nuclear weapons front in the 2014 update, however, which describes slow development of previously reported weapons programs. […]

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Chinese Nuclear Missile Upgrade Near Dalian

By Hans M. Kristensen One of the last Chinese Second Artillery brigades with the old liquid-fuel DF-3A intermediate-range nuclear ballistic missile appears to have been upgraded to the newer DF-21 road-mobile, dual-capable, medium-range ballistic missile. A new satellite image posted on Google Earth from May 4, 2014, reveals major changes to what appears to be […]

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Nuclear Exercises Amidst Ukrainian Crisis: Time For Cooler Heads

By Hans M. Kristensen Less than a week after Russia carried out a nuclear strike exercise, the United States has begun its own annual nuclear strike exercise. The exercises conducted by the world’s two largest nuclear-armed states come in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, as NATO and Russia appear to slide back down into a […]

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Resolving the Crisis in Ukraine: International Crisis Group’s Recommendations

As readers of the FAS Strategic Security Blog know, we have been concerned about the potential of the crisis in Ukraine to escalate, further worsening U.S.-Russian relations and possibly resulting in armed conflict involving NATO and Russia. As the May 25th presidential election in Ukraine is fast approaching, this post draws attention to advice and […]

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Russian ICBM Force Modernization: Arms Control Please!

By Hans M. Kristensen In our Nuclear Notebook on Russian nuclear forces from March this year, Robert S. Norris and I described the significant upgrade that’s underway in Russia’s force of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Over the next decade, all Soviet-era ICBMs will be retired and replaced with a smaller force consisting of mainly […]

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