Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released on June 2, 2013 a host of statistics on the latest global nuclear arms scenario. As per the study, each of India, Pakistan and China added 10-20 nuclear weapons to its arsenal in 2013. The top four nuclear nations – the US, Russia, the UK and France – did not add more weapons to their inventory, but appeared determined to retain their arsenals.
SIPRI’s chart shows that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons went up from 90-110 in 2012 to 110-120 in 2013. India increased the number of its nuclear warheads from 80-100 to 90-110 over the same period. China shored up its inventory from 240 nuclear weapons in 2012 to 250 in 2013. France retained its weapons at 300, while the UK froze its inventory at 225 warheads. Israel’s count of 80 weapons also remained the same over the period.
In the recent past, the US and Russia have been the only countries to have reduced their inventories of strategic nuclear weapons under the terms of the Treaty on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START). The two nations have also been retiring obsolete and ageing weapons. SIPRI, however, said the US and Russia, along with France, the UK and China, are either deploying new nuclear weapons delivery systems or have announced plans to do so. They also appear determined to retain their arsenals indefinitely. As a result, although the total number of nuclear weapons in the world dropped from approximately 19,000 in 2012 to 17,265 in 2013, there was little to inspire belief that nuclear powers were genuinely willing to give up their arsenals.