By Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris
Our latest FAS Nuclear Notebook has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This issue provides a new overview of the status and plans for US nuclear forces and updates our estimate of the number of nuclear weapons in the stockpile and deployed force.
The next issue scheduled for May will be on Russian nuclear forces.
For an update on worldwide nuclear weapons inventories, see our World Nuclear Forces web page.
The research for this publication was made possible by a grant from the New Land Foundation, and Ploughshares Fund. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.
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 in the future. For details, see the latest FAS Nuclear Notebook on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists web site.
This trend makes it more important for the United States and Russia to reach additional nuclear arms control agreements to reduce strategic nuclear forces. Hard to imagine in the current climate, but remember: even at the height of the Cold War the two sides reached important arms limitation agreements because it was seen then (as it is now) to be in their national security interest. Continue reading
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, the media and policymakers. This information is critical for the public debate as it shines a spotlight on status operations and modernization of nuclear weapons worldwide.
For more information on the Notebook, click here.
The new Nuclear Notebook infographic can be viewed here.