- Armament and disarmament
- Conflict, peace and security
- Peace and development
HANS M. KRISTENSEN AND JOSHUA HANDLER
II. US nuclear forces
III. Russian nuclear forces
IV. British nuclear forces
V. French nuclear forces
VI. Chinese nuclear forces
VII. Indian nuclear forces
VIII. Pakistani nuclear forces
IX. Israeli nuclear forces
The world’s 8 nuclear weapon states—USA, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel—maintained a total of about 17 150 nuclear warheads in 2001, of which the USA and Russia together held 93%. Of the smaller nuclear weapon states, China has slightly over 400 warheads, France 348, and Israel and the United Kingdom about 200 each. In the 2 new nuclear weapon states, India has 30–35 and Pakistan as many as 48 nuclear warheads, although it is thought that not all of them are fully deployed.
In addition to deployed warheads, thousands more are held in reserve and not counted in official declarations. The proportion of ‘unaccountable warheads’ has increased in recent years. It is estimated that, including deployed warheads, spares, those in active and inactive storarge and ‘pits’ (plutonium cores), the total world stockpile consisted of over 36 800 warheads as of 1 January 2002.
During 2001 all the nuclear weapon states had nuclear weapon modernization and maintenance programmes under way and appear committed to retaining nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future. In the USA the Nuclear Posture Review revealed long-term plans for new ballistic missiles, strategic submarines, long-range bombers and nuclear weapons. Russia is modernizing its strategic forces by deploying new intercontinental ballistic missiles and additional strategic bombers and is slowly constructing a new generation of nuclear powered ballistic-missile submarines.
Hans M. Kristensen (Denmark) is a Senior Researcher with the Nautilus Institute in Berkeley, California, where he directs nuclear weapons strategy research. He has been a member of the Danish Defence Commission and a senior researcher with the Military Information Unit of Greeenpeace International, Washington, DC. He is co-author of the Nuclear Notebook series in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Other recent publications include The Matrix of Deterrence: US Strategic Command Force Structure Studies (Nautilus Institute, 2001), The Post Cold War SIOP and Nuclear Warfare Planning: A Glossary, Abbreviations, and Acronyms (with William M. Arkin, National Resources Defense Council, 1999), and ‘The nuclear war files’, an on-line repository of US nuclear planning documents hosted by the Nautilus Institute Internet site.
Joshua Handler (United States) is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. In 1988–96 he served as research coordinator for Greenpeace’s Nuclear Free Seas Campaign and then as coordinator of the Disarmament Campaign. He is co-author of the Neptune Papers, a series of monographs on the naval nuclear arms race, and a number of books, articles and papers on the US and Russian military and nuclear weapon programmes.