“SIPRI Yearbook 2021”: China, India, Pakistan expanding “nuclear arsenal”

What is the News?

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI) has released the SIPRI Yearbook 2021. The report assesses the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security.

What are the key findings of the SIPRI Yearbook 2021?
  • Nine Nuclear-Armed States- the US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021.
  • Russia and the U.S. together possessed over 90% of global nuclear weapons. Further, both of them have an extensive and expensive modernisation programme underway.
  • China is in the middle of significant modernisation and expansion of its nuclear weapon inventory. India and Pakistan also appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals.
  • India possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021 compared to 150 at the start of 2020.
    • On the other hand, Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020. China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads, up from 320 at the start of 2020.
  • Concerns: The overall number of nuclear warheads in global military stockpiles appears to be increasing. This is a worrying sign as the declining trend that started since the end of the Cold War has stalled.
Other reports on nuclear arsenal:

International Institute for Strategic Studies(IISS), London has released a report titled ‘Nuclear Deterrence and Stability in South Asia: Perceptions and Realities’.

  • The report examines nuclear deterrence and stability in South Asia by assessing the extent to which India and Pakistan may be at risk from mistaken the use of nuclear weapons.
  • According to the report, India and Pakistan were at risk of using nuclear weapons during the crisis of February 2019.
  • Moreover, India and Pakistan are also in the process of seeking new technologies and capabilities. But these dangerously undermine each other’s defence under the nuclear threshold.
  • The report concludes by saying that robust, trusted, reliable backchannel talks between India and Pakistan leadership are the most promising way. By that, both India and Pakistan could achieve greater strategic and nuclear-deterrence stability.

Source: The Hindu


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