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Counting the Nuclear Weapons of US and Russia


A fact sheet about the New Start treaty of strategic arms between the United States and Russia was released recently by the US State Department as part of the pact’s requirements of data exchange. New Start was ratified in December 2010 by the US Senate to reduce nuclear arsenals in both countries and allow for 18 mutual inspections of nuclear weapons facilities each year for the life of the 10-year treaty. The pull-backs on the arms begin seven years after the ratification.

President Obama, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, left, and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus at Prague Castle on April 8, 2010, for the signing of the New Start treaty. PETE SOUZA/WHITE HOUSE PHOTO

In aggregate numbers, the facts, declared as of Sept. 1, 2011, look like this:

Deployed ICBMS (intercontinental ballistic missiles), deployed SLBMs (submarine launched ballistic missile) and deployed heavy bombers:
US: 822; Russia 516

Warheads on deployed ICBMs, on deployed SLBMs and nuclear warheads counted for deployed heavy bombers:

US: 1,790; Russia: 1,566

Deployed and nondeployed launchers of ICBMs, deployed and nondeployed launchers of SLBMs and deployed and nondeployed heavy bombers:

US: 1,043; Russia: 871

We welcome your comments on this article.  What are your thoughts?

Dulcie Leimbach

Dulcie Leimbach is a co-founder, with Barbara Crossette, of PassBlue. For PassBlue and other publications, Leimbach has reported from New York and overseas from West Africa (Burkina Faso and Mali) and from Europe (Scotland, Sicily, Vienna, Budapest, Kyiv, Armenia, Iceland, The Hague and Cyprus). She has provided commentary on the UN for BBC World Radio, ARD German TV and Radio, NHK’s English channel, Background Briefing with Ian Masters/KPFK Radio in Los Angeles and the Foreign Press Association.

Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA. Before UNA, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years. She began her reporting career in small-town papers in San Diego, Calif., and graduating to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. Leimbach has been a fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies as well as at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; taught news reporting at Hofstra University; and guest-lectured at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Journalism School. She graduated from the University of Colorado and has an M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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