Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FISHER: China and START Missile buildup may surpass U.S., Russia as they denuclearize

Could China Someday Have More Nuclear Warheads Than The United States And Russia?

Illustration: China missile by Linas Garsys for The Washington Times
China And START: Missile Buildup May Surpass U.S., Russia As They Denuclearize -- Richard D. Fisher Jr., The Washington Times

Might China someday have more nuclear warheads than the United States? Than Russia? Inconceivable as it may sound, this could come to pass, because China may just be starting a period of double- or triple-digit annual growth in its warhead numbers as the Obama administration sets its sights on further U.S. warhead reductions, with little hope that China will join a regime of negotiated nuclear stability. But even if it did, would nuclear "parity" with China be in America's interest?

The new START Treaty signed in May commits the United States and Russia to a "parity" that reduces deployed nuclear warheads from 2,200 to 1,550 and reduces to 700 the number of deployed nuclear delivery vehicles. However, President Obama has made clear his intention to seek further reductions; late 2009 leaks to the press suggested further goals of 1,000 warheads or even fewer.

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