India & Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Arsenal

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.

Source:
www.DefenceNews.in

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