Nuclear World

Nuclear arsenals expected to grow for first time since Cold War: Report

Nuclear arsenals are expected to grow over the next decade for the first time since the Cold War, a European think tank said on Monday.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said on Monday that despite a marginal decrease in the number of nuclear warheads in 2021, the nuclear stockpiles held by the nine nuclear-armed states — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea — will continue to modernize and likely increase in the next decade.

“If the nuclear-armed states take no immediate and concrete action on disarmament, then the global inventory of nuclear warheads could soon begin to increase for the first time since the cold war,” said Matt Korda, a researcher with SIPRI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme and the Federation of American Scientists Nuclear Information Project.

“All of the nuclear-armed states are increasing or upgrading their arsenals and most are sharpening nuclear rhetoric and the role nuclear weapons play in their military strategies,” added Wilfred Wan, Director of SIPRI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme, in a press release. “This is a very worrying trend.”

Over 90% of all nuclear weapons in the world are held by Russia and the United States, 6,255 and 5,550, respectively, around 2,000 of which are kept in a state of high operational alert.

Declines in Russian and American warhead inventories in 2021 was due to the dismantling of warheads that had been retired from military service several years ago. SIPRI notes that the New START Treaty, extended in 2021 thru February 2026 by the Biden administration and Russia, does not limit total nonstrategic nuclear warhead inventories..

The seven other nuclear nations are either actively or planning to develop or deploy new weapon systems in the coming years, according to SIPRI.

China is in the process of building over 300 new missile silos and has received delivery of new mobile launchers and submarines, where nuclear warheads are thought to have been deployed in 2021, the think tank said.

Read more at MSN

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Victor I. Nava