Nuclear Weapons

The Cold War is over, but the United States and Russia still keep thousands of nuclear weapons on alert and in reserve. Understand the issues with our technical and political analysis.


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Latest Nuclear Weapons Posts

Quick Take on the FY 2017 NNSA Budget Request

, Washington representative and senior analyst

Weapons Program Budgets Up, Nonproliferation Budget Down

On February 9, the Obama administration unveiled the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, its final annual submission to Congress of this kind. In recent years, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the agency responsible for maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons and for helping to halt the spread of nuclear weapons, has seen its top-line budget increase even as government spending as a whole remains tightly constrained.

The FY 2017 request continues that trend, with a total request of $12.9 billion for the NNSA, compared to the $12.5 billion provided in FY 2016. Read more >

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The Advanced Cruise Missile, retired in 2007, was stealthy and had a longer range than the currently deployed Air-Launched Cruise Missile. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

Just How New is the New, Nuclear-armed Cruise Missile?

, Washington representative and senior analyst

I have an op-ed in Defense News that explains how deploying the planned new nuclear-armed cruise missile will actually make the United States less secure. Known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon, or LRSO, it will be significantly more capable than the existing nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). And for just that reason, by demonstrating that the United States sees this weapon as a valuable military tool, it will undermine higher priority U.S. security goals. Read more >

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On Nuclear Weapons, You Can Never Say Never

, analyst

There’s been an unusual debate going on over the past couple of weeks in the United Kingdom after Jeremy Corbyn—head of the Labour party—declared that if he were to become Prime Minister, he would not use nuclear weapons. Not everyone was happy with his statement, but it also seems not everyone understands how nuclear deterrence works. Read more >

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Groundless Claims about Chinese MIRVing

, co-director and senior scientist

It seems that just about every week the claims about how many MIRVed warheads Chinese missiles can carry grow by leaps and bounds. The latest reports have gone from ridiculous to embarrassing. Read more >

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Space-based missile defense. Again?

, senior scientist

The concept of zombies, coopted and corrupted as it has been over time, seems to follow the cultural moment. Apparently, the idea of a creature that persistently gets up after it’s good and knocked down really resonates with Americans. (I agree with the commentators who suggest we have reached “peak zombie.”) Clearly, however, Congress is not on the cultural vanguard, and seems not to have gotten the message that we are all set with the undead. Read more >

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