Skip to content

SIPRI: Smaller nuclear arsenals, but no real progress on disarmament

June 7, 2011

New data published today by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that eight states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel—possess more than 20,500 nuclear weapons, a drop of more than 2,000 since 2009. More than 5,000 of these nuclear weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2,000 that are kept in a state of high operational alert.

Modest cuts in US and Russian strategic nuclear forces were agreed in April 2010 under the New START treaty, but both countries currently are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programs to do so, and appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals for the indefinite future. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan continue to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons. They are also expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes.

“It’s a stretch to say that the New START cuts agreed by the USA and Russia are a genuine step towards nuclear disarmament when their planning for nuclear forces is done on a time scale that encompasses decades and when nuclear modernization is a major priority of their defence policies,” said SIPRI Senior Researcher Shannon Kile.

The SIPRI Yearbook 2011, which also reports on global military spending, arms transfers, armed conflicts, peacekeeping operations, and other topics is available from SIPRI.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: