Nuclear War: US, Russia, China Weapons Deployed With Operational Forces

Nuclear War: US, Russia, China Weapons Deployed With Operational Forces
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The terrifying possibility of a nuclear war erupting in the near future becomes all the more tangible as a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found that nine nuclear states have 4,300 nuclear weapons deployed across bases with operational forces. The U.S. and Russia top the list of the states with the most nuclear weapons deployed on bases while China remained elusive.


The report comes as all eyes are set on U.S.-Russia tensions over the Ukraine crisis and as speculations heightened about an impending World War 3 over the South China Sea dispute. Just recently, Saudi Arabia also warned about a nuclear arms race brewing in the Middle East.

US, Russia nuclear weapons deployed on bases with operational forces

A report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute or SIPRI found that the U.S., Russia, China, as well as France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are all in possession of roughly 15,850 nuclear weapons. Of these, 4,300 were deployed in different bases with operational forces and 1,800 of these were in a state of high-operational alert.

The U.S. has a total of 7,260 nuclear warheads of which 2,080 were deployed in military bases with operational forces. Russia has 7,500 nuclear warheads with 1,780 deployed on bases. China is elusive on how many of its warheads were already deployed but as of the moment it has 260 nuclear weapons in possession. This has been a “modest increase in the size of its nuclear arsenal,” SIPRI said in its report.

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UK has a total of 215 warheads, 150 are deployed. France has 300 of which 290 are deployed.

India has 90-110 warheads and Pakistan has 100-120. Both countries have yet to deploy weapons but according to SIPRI, both India and Pakistan are “expanding their nuclear weapon production capabilities and developing new missile delivery systems.”

Israel has 80 warheads all in possession and has yet to be deployed. North Korea has 6-8 nuclear weapons but is in the process of advancing its nuclear program.

“Despite renewed international interest in prioritizing nuclear disarmament, the modernization programs under way in the nuclear weapon-possessing state suggests that none of them will give up their nuclear arsenals in the foreseeable future,” said Shannon Kile, SIPRI Senior Researcher.

The good news and the bad news

Kile said the report comes with both bad news and good news.

“The bad news is that all the countries that have nuclear weapons are committed to retaining them for the indefinite future, and are either modernizing or building new systems,” Kile told DW.

The good news is that there is an overall decline in the number of nuclear weapons from 2014.

Kile added that nuclear weapons are “still the central pillars of the national security strategies” of these nine nuclear states.

Also read: Nuclear Arms Race Brewing Over The Middle East

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