Aimed at the New Age of Nuclear Restoration

After a 35-year decline, the number of nuclear weapons in the world will rise in the next decade as Russia escalates global tensions between the war in Ukraine, researchers said on Monday.

The nine nuclear powers — Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, the United States, and Russia — had 12,705 nuclear warheads in early 2022, or 375 fewer than in early 2021, according to Stockholm International Peace estimates. Research Institute (SIPRI).

The number has dropped since it surpassed 70,000 in 1986 as the U.S. and Russia reduced the number of large arsenals built during the Cold War.

But this era of disarmament seems to be coming to an end and the risk of nuclear escalation is at its peak in the post-Cold War era, SIPRI researchers say.

“Soon, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, we will reach the point where the number of nuclear weapons in the world can begin to increase for the first time,” said Matt Korda, a member. the authors of the report told AFP.

“It’s really dangerous territory.”

Following the “marginal” decline seen last year, “the nuclear arsenal is expected to grow over the next decade,” SIPRI said.

During the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly referred to the use of nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, several countries, including China and the United Kingdom, are officially or unofficially modernizing or expanding their arsenals, the research institute said.

“It will be very difficult in the coming years to move forward with disarmament because of this war, and because of how Putin is talking about his nuclear weapons,” Korda said.

These disturbing remarks are encouraging “many other nuclear-armed states to think about their nuclear strategies,” he added.

“Nuclear war cannot be won”

In early 2021, despite the entry into force of a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons and a five-year extension of the US-Russia “New START” treaty, the situation has been deteriorating for a long time, according to SIPRI.

Iran’s nuclear program and the development of increasingly advanced hypersonic missiles have raised concerns, among other things.

The decline in the overall number of weapons is due to the fact that the US and Russia have “disposed of the withdrawn bread”, SIPRI said, while the number of operational weapons remains “relatively stable”.

Moscow and Washington alone account for 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.

Russia remains the largest nuclear power, with 5,977 leaders at the beginning of 2022, 280 fewer than a year ago, deployed, in stock or awaiting dissolution, according to the institute.

SIPRI estimates that more than 1,600 of them are in operation immediately.

The United States, on the other hand, has 5,428 heads, 120 fewer than last year, but has expanded more than Russia, 1,750.

In terms of overall numbers, China is third with 350, France with 290, Great Britain with 225, Pakistan with 165, India with 160 and Israel with 90.

Israel is the only one of the nine that does not officially accept nuclear weapons.

As for North Korea, SIPRI said for the first time that the communist regime of Kim Jong Unen now has 20 nuclear warheads.

Pyongyang is believed to have enough material to produce about 50.

In early 2022, five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council’s nuclear weapons – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – issued a statement: “Nuclear war cannot be won and never fought.”

However, SIPRI noted that the five “continue to expand or modernize their nuclear arsenals and appear to be increasing the importance of nuclear weapons in their military strategies.”

“China is at the center of a significant expansion of its nuclear weapons arsenal, with satellite images showing the construction of more than 300 new missile silos,” he said.

According to the Pentagon, Beijing could have 700 heads by 2027.

Britain said last year it would increase the ceiling on its entire stockpile and would not publicly disclose the country’s operational nuclear weapons figures.

Aimed at the New Age of Nuclear Restoration

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