Size of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Revealed for First Time: Are 5,000 Bombs Enough?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Castle Romeo test

Despite the objections of intelligence agencies, the U.S. government has publicly revealed for the first time just how many nuclear weapons it has. President Barack Obama agreed to the unprecedented disclosure in the hopes it will spur established and aspiring nuclear countries to be more forthcoming about their arsenals or designs.

Through a joint declassification, the federal departments of Energy and Defense revealed that the U.S. currently has 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile, as well as several thousand more retired warheads waiting to be dismantled. National security experts peg the number of “junked” warheads at around 4,000.
Experts weren’t surprised by the number of active warhead that was released. They had estimated the total to be approximately 5,000. But many were still pleased by the Obama administration’s willingness to bring transparency to what long has been a closely guarded secret.
America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons has shrunk dramatically since the end of the Cold War. The stockpile today is 75% smaller than it was in 1989.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
US Says It Has 5,113 Nuclear Warheads (by Anne Gearan, Associated Press)
U.S. is Expected to Reveal Size of Nuclear Stockpile (by Mary Beth Sheridan and Walter Pincus, Washington Post)


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