Russia and the U.S. together possess 93% of the total global nuclear inventory, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
About 24 years after the end of the Cold War, Russia and the United States seem to be engaged in a nuclear arms race once again that could have disastrous consequences. Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin claims that Russia’s nuclear weapons can’t be stopped by the U.S. missile defense system if a war breaks out.
Russia to overhaul its entire nuclear arsenal
In a talk show with the state-run Rossiya 1 television channel, Rogozin claimed that Russia has developed a new technology that could easily overcome the U.S. missile defense systems. Rogozin is overseeing the modernization of the country’s nuclear weapons. Last year, Vladimir Putin announced to overhaul the country’s entire nuclear arsenal by 2020. It is part of Putin’s rearmament program that is estimated to cost $700 billion.
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What’s more, Russia’s deployed nuclear capacity has overtaken that of the U.S. for the first time since 2000, according to a report from the U.S. State Department. As of September 1, 2014, Russia had 1,643 nuclear missiles ready to launch. The U.S. had 1,642 and, not surprisingly, all of them were aimed at Russia. Both countries have been upgrading their active nuclear arsenal since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict.
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation estimates that the U.S. has over 7,000 nuclear warheads, compared to more than 8,000 warheads of Russia. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says that the two countries possess 93% of the global nuclear stockpile. Despite their vast military might, they are still upgrading their nuclear weapons.
U.S. in no mood to stay behind Russia in the nuclear race
The United States is moving toward implementing a plan for nuclear modernization. In September 2014, the U.S. opened a new plant in Kansas City to modernize its atomic warheads. The U.S. nuclear modernization plan includes spending more than $355 billion over the next 10 years to renovate nuclear weapons plants and laboratories.
The Obama administration has asked the Pentagon to plan for up to 100 new nuclear bombers, 12 new nuclear submarines, and 400 land-based nuclear missiles. According to Battle Creek Enquirer, it will take the total cost of the U.S. nuclear weapons buildup to close to $1 trillion.
Does it make any sense when they already have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the whole world many times over? Can Russia and the U.S. resolve their disputes peacefully and move ahead with a policy of nuclear disarmament?