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Swedish think tank: India and Pakistan increase nuclear stockpiles

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India had an estimated 156 nuclear warheads in early 2021, up from 150 at the beginning of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020

Ground Report | New Delhi: India and Pakistan are modernizing and expanding their nuclear stockpiles, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2021, released Monday. Researchers have said that since the end of the Cold War, there was a steady decline in the number of nuclear weapons in the late 1990s, but now this situation is changing.

According to Kristensen, this situation was much more serious during the Cold War. In 1986, there were estimated to be more than 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world. There are currently nine countries with nuclear weapons – the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. According to SIPRI, they have a total of 13,080 weapons in 2021. According to the institute, these countries had a total of 13,400 weapons last year.

India had an estimated 156 nuclear warheads in early 2021, up from 150 at the beginning of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020, according to the yearbook. China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads, up from 320 in early 2020.

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A May report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, entitled “Nuclear Deterrence and Stability in South Asia: Perception and Reality,” said the case was instrumental in improving the India-Pakistan crisis in February 2019 and the two countries “at risk stumble upon the use of their nuclear weapons due to miscalculation or misinterpretation in a future crisis. “

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“India and Pakistan are looking for new technologies and capabilities that dangerously undermine each other’s defenses under nuclear thresholds. Whatever they learn from past crises, the unexplored territory they are now exploring requires an enlightened judgment about their doctrines, their nuclear and conventional capabilities and their unpredictable consequences in future crises, ”said Antoine Levesquez, IISS Research Fellow, in a report. lead author.

SIPRI says that this is not really a decline in numbers, as these weapons also have old warheads that have to be destroyed. If these are excluded from the count, the total number of nuclear weapons has increased from 9,380 to 9,620 in one year.

According to SIPRI, the number of nuclear weapons deployed with different armies also increased from 3,720 to 3,825 in a year. About 2,000 of these weapons are kept in a “high-use state”, that is, in a state that they can be used in a matter of minutes if needed.

Hans Kristensen says that nuclear programs are being modernized on a very significant scale all over the world and countries with nuclear weapons are increasing the importance of nuclear weapons in their military strategies.

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Russia and the US have more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons stockpiles. Kristensen said that both countries are giving more importance to nuclear weapons. He believes that former US President Donald Trump was pursuing this strategy and the new President Joe Biden is also giving the message very clearly that he will also continue it.

Both the US and Russia continue to remove old warheads, but both have about 50 more weapons than last year, which were in the “active deployment” stage in early 2021. 

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