The dangerous increase of the global nuclear arsenal
The world is heading towards a new era of global growth and modernization of nuclear arsenals, despite the opposite rhetoric deployed in the U.S. and the EU, according to data from a new study.
While increasing talk about a possible Israeli military operation against Iran, based on allegations about the non-peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program, sparks public debate and official statements around the globe, a study publicized by the London and Washington based think-tank, «British American Security Information Council» (Basic), reveals that each of the 9 global nuclear powers is currently engaging in major upgrades and expansion of their nuclear arsenals.
The U.S., that already possesses approximately 8,500 nuclear warheads, is planning to spend more than $700 billion on its nuclear capability during the next 10 years. About 200 billion dollars will be spent on modernizing the warhead production and its delivery system, whilst the remainder will be invested for the development of a fleet of 12 new nuclear submarines and a new system of long-range air launched missiles.
The other big player on the chessboard of nuclear weapons, Russia, which possesses about 11,500 nuclear warheads, plans to spend a sum of more than $70 billion by 2020. The program aims to double the number of ballistic missiles it produces each year, by investing approximately $500 million in its Votkinsk factory, plans to purchase 8 new submarines, develope a new type of strategic missile capable of currying 10 nuclear warheads and produce a new type of long range stealth bomber.
It is worth noting that on April 8, 2010 the U.S. and Russia signed in Prague the new START II treaty to reduce nuclear weapons by eliminating certain types of nuclear warheads.