torsdag 30. juli 2020

China’s Arms Buildup Threatens the Nuclear Balance

Nuclear arms control is at a crossroads — not because we are approaching the deadline on an extension of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, but because China’s nuclear expansion threatens to upend decades of relative nuclear stability between the United States and Russia. The United States and Russia have been reducing their strategic nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War. The 1991 Start Treaty allowed each side 6,000 deployable strategic nuclear warheads; the 2010 treaty, known as New Start, lowered that limit to 1,550 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads.

But stability at these lower force levels will be challenged by China’s nuclear ambitions. China is clearly moving away from the small, limited nuclear force of its past. It is fielding modern land- and sea-based strategic systems and plans to introduce an air-launched ballistic missile delivered by heavy bombers in the near future, achieving its own strategic nuclear triad.