I was checking the site when i came accros this article (From the Defencetalk home page) London: Britain's new government revealed Wednesday the planned size of its nuclear weapons stockpile, saying it will not exceed 225 warheads -- a move cautiously welcomed by anti-nuclear campaigners.
In an announcement coinciding with the end of a United Nations nuclear non-proliferation treaty conference in New York, Britain said it will retain up to 160 operationally available warheads.
"We believe that the time is now right to be more open about the weapons we hold," Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament.
"We judge that this will assist in building a climate of trust between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states and contribute therefore to future efforts to reduce the number of nuclear weapons worldwide."
The statement makes public for the first time the maximum number of warheads Britain will stockpile.
Hague said the move reflected the new coalition government's commitment to play a full part in the UN conference, which is due to close on Friday.
He said the announcement posed no threat to British security, with the United States and France having made similar announcements -- Paris said in 2008 that its arsenal will include fewer than 300 nuclear warheads, while the US announced earlier this month that it has 5,113 warheads, said the FCO.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) cautiously welcomed the announcement.
"Publishing this number is a welcome step that can help build trust between states and open the way for disarmament," said CND chief Kate Hudson. "But Britain's commitment under the NPT is not to be transparent, but to disarm.
The number "gives a baseline against which further disarmament can be measured, but it is the reduction and then elimination of the UK and other countries' nuclear weapons that will deliver real security," she added.
Britain's nuclear deterrent is one of the points where Britain's governing coalition parties, the Conservatives and the smaller Liberal Democrats, differ drastically.
The Conservatives believe the Trident missile programme must be renewed, while the Lib Dems think it is outdated and too costly.
The British minister said the government would re-examine the circumstances under which Britain might consider using its nuclear weapons.
"The purpose of our nuclear weapons is to deter attack and the United Kingdom has long been clear that we would only consider using them in extreme circumstances of self-defence, including the defence of our NATO allies.
"This country has been deliberately ambiguous over the precise circumstances of use, although we have offered some assurances to non-nuclear weapons states," he said.
"However we have decided that the time is right to look again at our policy, as the US has done in their recent nuclear posture review, to ensure that it is fully appropriate for the political and security context in 2010 and beyond."
CND chief Hudson said: "The figures reveal that Britain has almost half as many warheads again as the previously published number of 'operationally available' -- higher than many had estimated.
"This very large number of 'spares' kept by Britain is similar to the supposed size of the entire nuclear arsenals of India or Pakistan," she added.
Now i was wondering about the fact that:
Britain's arsenal will not exeed 225 warhead while France has rougly 300 warheads
China is believed to have around 240 nuclear warheads
Israel is believed to have nearly 200 warheads
India and Pakistan got several warheads but assumed a lower number then the UK or France.
Russia has 3,909 nuclear warheads accoording to online sources
I personally can accept that Britain has 200+ nukes as it seem to be a legit number i mean morally speaking.
The US has always been known as a nation that seeks a worldwide ban on WMD's and they are putting alot of effort in this.
However if iam doing the math then there is roughly said noone that even comes close to the amount of N-Warheads that the US has.
They hammer down nations around the world to stop the WMD programs wich is morally speaking correct however i was wondering how the US can judge other nations for having WMD's as the US has more warheads then the whole world combined.
And here i fail to see the logic of having such a large stock.
Just for the record this is not a one line story or a anti US topic but this is more theoretical / morally speaking.
IMO you cannot point at someones garden and say: He look its dirty as you fail to keep a clean house yourself.
I can imagine that if the US would have alot less warheads in stock themselfs that they still have a credible stock to scare off any future agressor.
I also like to point out that for example russia has a serious big stock and they mostly maintain this number of warheads due the fact that the US in this case would be seen as the biggest WMD keeping nation, let me explain this:
The US does put in alot of efforts to make the world warhead free however who are the US to claim other nations would have to lower or even disband their stock as the US itself has more nukes then the rest of the world.
So basicly its their own doing that other nations are not that eager to lower their stocks as they are technically rivals of the US and they have a own strategy doctrine wich probably do not rule out that the US might go bogus some day.
So theoretical speaking the US forces other nations to keep a large stock of warheads.
Sure most nations are alied to eachother and the risk of a war between allies is nihil.
However a good written strategy doctrine will have probably a good portion devoted to the US warhead danger.
Then again most WMD armed nations keep a stock because they see US as a bigger danger (Stock size wise) So morally speaking if the US would seriously lower their stock numbers then they would have more right to speak at the table to convince other nations to do the same.
Most WMD strategies are based upon Mutual Destruction and then my question is who does the US see as such a huge danger to have 5k warheads, again i fail to see the logic.
Iam sure that coldwar standards have left a heavy footprint but morally speaking and theoretical as the US deserves the right to arm itself against a agressor this same applies for other nations who have their own legit reasons to keep a good stock.
However imo if US would downgrade its stock with serious numbers then it would be more likly and acceptable by other nations to follow suit as most of those nations have WMD's for mostly one reason: The US and its stock.
Keep in mind its not a bash topic or any of that but i would like a good discussion about this.