Eight of the world’s nuclear powers together possessed nearly 19,000 atomic weapons with India and Pakistan expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes, a prominent Swedish think tank claimed today.
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The world seems to be heading towards peace as the total military spending marginally increased by 0.3 percent in 2011–2012. The facts came to light in the yearbook of Stockholm International Peace Research Institiute (SIPRI).
The yearbook stated some interesting facts related to military spending of nations of the world. As per the book, eight of the world possessed nearly 19,000 atomic weapons.
India and Pakistan have expanded their capacity to produce fissile material for military purpose.
The world military spending failed to rise for the first time since 1998 in a major shift from the international stand. The military expenditure in 2011 was essentially flat at USD 1.73 trillion.
“India and Pakistan continue to develop new systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons and are expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes,” it said.
“The eight nuclear states the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel together possess a total of approximately 19,000 nuclear weapons, as compared with 20,530 at the beginning of 2011,” it pointed out.
The decrease in the total number of warheads is mainly due to Russia and the US further reducing their inventories of strategic nuclear weapons under the terms of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) as well as retiring ageing and obsolescent weapons, the think tank pointed out.
The main contributor to this downward trend is US and Russia. Both the countries have further reduced their inventories of strategic nuclear weapons under the terms of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) as well as retiring ageing and obsolescent weapons, the think tank pointed out.
At the same time, all five legally recognised nuclear weapon states China, France, Russia, the UK and the US are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programmes to do so, it added.
They appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely.
While the eight nuclear states possessed approximately 4400 operational nuclear weapons at the start of 2012, nearly 2000 of these are kept in a state of high operational alert, the SIPRI report cautioned.
The SIPRI yearbook 2012 assesses the current state of international security, armaments and disarmament.
SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
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