For the first time in four years, the United States on Tuesday revealed the number of nuclear weapons in its stockpile, saying doing so will aid its nuclear disarmament efforts.
The State Department said in a statement that as of Sept. 30 of last year, the U.S. nuclear stockpile consisted of 3,750 active and inactive warheads.
According to a State Department fact sheet, the number represents a drop of 55 warheads from the year prior and 72 from Sept. 30, 2017, the last time such data was known publicly.
Since then, the United States has also dismantled 711 nuclear warheads with another roughly 2,000 retired weapons awaiting dismantlement, it said.
The disclosure was the first time since March 2018, when the previous Trump administration released its numbers for the year prior.
After that, the Trump administration kept the numbers classified, despite requests for the data from the Federation of American Scientists.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research and advocacy organization said after receiving a denial in December 2020 that turning down its request “contradicts past U.S. disclosure of such information, undercuts U.S. criticism of secrecy in other nuclear-armed states and weakens U.S. ability to document its adherence to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
The State Department said its reversal of the Trump administration stance on Tuesday was “important to nonproliferation and disarmament efforts, including commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and efforts to address all types of nuclear weapons, including deployed and non-deployed and strategic and non-strategic.”
The current number of nuclear warheads in the United States’ possession represents about an 88% reduction from its high of 31,255 warheads at the end of 1967, the State Department said.
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