nuclear weapons


Is the United States Planning a Nuclear-Armed, Intercontinental-Range, Hypersonic Missile?

Last month the US Air Force accidentally released a document soliciting proposals for upgrades to its Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) now under development and slated to replace the current nuclear-armed ICBM fleet. This document indicated interest in a hypersonic glider modification to the GBSD, prompting speculation that the United States might be planning a nuclear-armed hypersonic missile.

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Could China and the United States Go to War over Taiwan?

, China project manager and senior analyst

Yes. Both sides are preparing for that war. Both sides also have nuclear weapons. China declared it will never use them first under any circumstances, but US policy allows for the first use of nuclear weapons if victory cannot be assured by other means. China has promised to retaliate if struck first. So, a nuclear war over Taiwan, while unlikely, is possible.

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Nuclear Weapons, Frontline Communities, and the COVID Stimulus. What You Need to Know.

Lilly Adams, , UCS

On March 1, 1954 the US tested a nuclear weapon 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The blast from the Castle Bravo test over the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands rained down over a 7,000 square mile area. U.S. Department of Energy

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to confront the vast inequities in our society that have made this virus more deadly in some communities than others. This is also true in the world of nuclear weapons policy: US nuclear weapons activities have, and continue to, hurt communities through harmful and sometimes deadly radiation exposure. Now, the survivors of this radiation exposure are also at greater risk from COVID-19. Effective COVID-19 response requires that those who need care can receive it. It also means recognizing who is at greatest risk, and addressing their needs. As we gear up for another stimulus package, UCS and more than 100 other organizations across the country are calling for Congress to include funding for health care access for communities directly harmed by US nuclear activities.  Read more >

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US Should Extend the New START Nuclear Weapons Treaty To Make Us All Safer

, former co-director

Obama and Medvedev signing the New START treaty (Source: White House photo)

According to an AP News story, last Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the fate of the 2010 New START agreement, as well as potential future agreements to limit nuclear weapons.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s desire to extend New START from February 2021 until 2026 and clarified that two of Russia’s new weapon systems would be covered under the treaty. This alone should be reason for the United States to extend New START. But Russia has also said it is open to negotiating a new treaty that would limit other Russian weapons systems now under development.

This is a no-brainer. It is foolhardy for the United States to throw out something good because it wants something better, leaving it with nothing.

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Fitting Hypersonic Weapons into the Nuclear Arms Control Regime

Former President Barack Obama signed the instrument of ratification of the New START Treaty in the Oval Office on Feb. 2, 2011. The only active treaty limiting the deployment of US and Russian nuclear weapons, New START does not explicitly restrict hypersonic missiles.

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