The United States as of March 1 held 1,737 fielded strategic nuclear warheads carried by 812 active ICBMs, submarines-based missiles and bombers, the State Department said last week (see GSN, Oct. 26, 2011).
The count was down from September, when the U.S. deployed long-range deterrent encompassed 1,790 warheads and 822 delivery systems.
The U.S.-Russian New START treaty, which entered into force in February 2011, requires both nations by 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic arsenal to 1,550 warheads and 700 delivery devices.
Russia remains under the cap for fielded weapons, with 1,492 warheads on 494 ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers, according to the latest figures.
The counts of reserve and deployed delivery systems showed the United States with 1,040 and Russia with 881. The maximum ultimately allowed by the accord is 800.
Moscow and Washington are required every six months to swap information on weapons covered by the treaty (U.S. State Department release, April 6).
The Obama administration has openly expressed its hope to negotiate further cuts with Russia and possibly other nuclear-armed nations, but that aspiration could face deep opposition from Republican lawmakers (see GSN, April 4).
Thirteen GOP senators approved ratification of the New START pact. Party leaders, though, have expressed displeasure with what they see as the administration's failure to carry though with its pledge to adequately fund modernization of the nation's nuclear arms complex.
"It has not yet been explained to me how fewer nuclear weapons in the U.S. deterrent is necessarily better for the nation's security," U.S. News & World Report quoted House Armed Forces Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio) as stating in a recent address (U.S. News & World Report, April 10).