Nations Defy Nuclear Treaty by Expanding Weapons Programs

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Now more than 20 years since the end of the Cold War—which spawned the nuclear arms race and made those weapons the ultimate show of military might—nations in possession of nuclear arms are still determined to not only hold onto their arsenals, but in some cases expand them despite their commitments to non-proliferation.


The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its new 2013 yearbook that the so-called “Big Five”—the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China, which were the first members of the “nuclear club”—are currently deploying new nuclear weapons and delivery systems or plan to do so.


Their actions indicate, according to SIPRI, that these governments have no intention of eliminating their nukes and “appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely.”


In addition to these five countries, which are official nuclear powers as defined by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, three other states (India, Pakistan, and Israel) possess nuclear stockpiles that don’t appear to be shrinking or going away anytime soon.


Those countries that signed the treaty, including the U.S., Russia and Britain, pledged to work towards nuclear disarmament.


“Once again there was little to inspire hope that the nuclear-weapon-possessing states are genuinely willing to give up their nuclear arsenals. The long-term modernization programs under way in these states suggest that nuclear weapons are still a marker of international status and power," Shannon Kile, senior researcher at SIPRI, told The Guardian.


Of the Big Five, China is working hardest to expand its nuclear arsenal.


India and Pakistan are also expanding both their nuclear weapon stockpiles and their missile delivery capabilities.


SIPRI estimates there are more than 17,000 nuclear weapons in existence in the world today among the eight nuclear countries.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Nuclear States Developing New Weapons in Defiance of Treaty, Report Claims (by Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian)

China-Pakistan Nuclear Axis Defies Nonproliferation Aims (by Harsh V. Pant, Japan Times)

SIPRI Yearbook 2013: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance (Arms Control Association)

Obama Pledges $11 Billion to Upgrade U.S. Nuclear Weapons (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)     

Americans Willing to Use Nuclear Weapons (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)          

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Obama Increases Spending for Nuclear Weapons (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)         


Anthony Alfidi 11 years ago
Nuclear arms reduction may someday get to zero. US and Russia can cooperate on missile defense because Y2K set the precedent.

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