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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Want, nuclear rise; peace ops fall — SIPRI report

Edited excerpt by Carolyn Bennett

“Resource competition raises tensions. Nuclear forces ‘leaner but meaner.’ Peace operation numbers fall,” says the latest SIPRI Yearbook. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on June 7 released findings assessing current state of international security, armaments and disarmament.

Key findings:
  • ·     New levels of global resource demand could destabilize international relations
  • ·     Continuing cuts in U.S. and Russian nuclear forces offset by long-term force modernization programs
  • ·     Number of peace missions fell to the lowest level since 2002

Excerpt from report highlights

Falling numbers
Little progress towards disarmament

The United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel possess more than 20,500 nuclear weapons, a drop of more than 2,000 since 2009.

More than 5000 of these nuclear weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2,000 that are kept in a state of high operational alert.

Modest cuts in U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces were agreed in April 2010 under the New START treaty but both countries currently are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programs to do so and appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals for the indefinite future.

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan continue to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons. They are also expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes.

SIPRI Senior Researcher Shannon Kile says, “‘It is a stretch to say that the New START cuts agreed by the USA and Russia are a genuine step towards nuclear disarmament when their planning for nuclear forces is done on a time scale that encompasses decades and when nuclear modernization is a major priority of their defense policies.’”

World nuclear forces, 2011

Country Deployed warheads* Other warheads Total 2011 Total 2010
USA 2150 6350 8500 9600
Russia 2427 8570 11000 12000
UK 160 65 225 225
France 290 10 300 300
China 200 240 240
India 80-100 80-110 60-80
Pakistan 90-110 90-110 70-90
Israel 80 80 80
Total 5027 15500 20530 22600

Source: SIPRI Yearbook 2011 * “Deployed” means warheads placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces. 

PEACE operations
Fewer operations
NATO International Security Assistance Force has most world’s ‘peacekeepers’

“‘The vast size of the ISAF creates a misleading picture” of peace, says Senior Researcher Sharon Wiharta, Head of SIPRI’s Project on Multilateral Peace Operations. “‘ISAF troops are mostly engaged in counter-insurgency rather than mainstream peacekeeping. Take them out of the equation and the peacekeeping surge of the 2000s appears to be largely over.’”

The number of active peace operations fell in 2010 to its lowest level since 2002.

Fifty-two (52) peace operations deployed 262, 842 international troops, observers, civilian police and civilian staff, an increase of 20 percent over the 2009 level (219, 278 in 54 operations).  However, at 131, 730 troops, the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan deployed more personnel than all the other 51 operations combined.

Non-ISAF personnel numbers actually fell by 3 percent (from 135 132 in 2009 to 131,112 in 2010).

“Resource competition raises tensions. Nuclear forces ‘leaner but meaner.’ Peace operation numbers fall,” says SIPRI Yearbook released in early June. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on June 7, 2011, released findings assessing current state of international security, armaments and disarmament, http://www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases/yblaunch11

Established in 1966, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

SIPRI was established based on a decision by the Swedish Parliament and receives a substantial part of its funding in the form of an annual grant from the Swedish Government. To carry out its broad research program, the Institute also seeks financial support from other organizations. http://www.sipri.org/about


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