Why US-Russia nuclear arms race?

The United States and Russia have a long history of nuclear rivalry, dating back to the Cold War, which was characterized by a constant arms race and the threat of nuclear war. Despite the end of the Cold War and the signing of several arms control agreements, the two nations continue to engage in a new nuclear arms race, with both sides modernizing their nuclear arsenals and developing new weapons systems.

  • National Security Concerns: Both the United States and Russia see nuclear weapons as a key component of their national security strategies. The possession of a credible nuclear deterrent is seen as essential to prevent other nations from attacking them or threatening their sovereignty.
  • Strategic Competition: The United States and Russia are in competition with each other on a global scale, and nuclear weapons are seen as a way to project power and influence. Both nations view the possession of nuclear weapons as essential to maintaining their position as a major world power.
  • Technological Advancements: The development of new technologies has led to the creation of more advanced nuclear weapons systems, including hypersonic missiles and new delivery systems. Both the United States and Russia are investing heavily in these new technologies, which they see as essential to maintaining their nuclear deterrence.
  • Deterrence: The concept of nuclear deterrence is a key factor in the arms race. Both the United States and Russia believe that possessing a credible nuclear deterrent will prevent other nations from attacking them, as the consequences of a nuclear war would be catastrophic.
  • Domestic Politics: In both the United States and Russia, nuclear weapons are seen as a symbol of national pride and prestige. Leaders in both countries may feel pressure from their domestic constituencies to maintain a strong nuclear arsenal.

The continued nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia has significant implications for global security. The possession of nuclear weapons by these two nations, and the potential for a nuclear conflict, pose a grave threat to global stability and the survival of humanity. The arms race also undermines efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and can contribute to a destabilization of international relations. It is therefore crucial that the two nations engage in meaningful arms control negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear conflict and move towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Russia has broken its nuclear deal with the United States. The New Start Treaty was signed between the two countries in 2011. It was then agreed that both countries would limit their respective nuclear weapons by 2018 and avoid nuclear testing.

Annoyed by US President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine in the past, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia’s exit from the treaty. According to the report, as of September 1, 2022, the US had 1420 deployed warheads and 659 strategic delivery systems. At the same time, Russia had 1549 weapons and 540 strategic launchers deployed. Warheads are several nuclear weapons and strategic delivery systems including missiles, nuclear bombers, and nuclear submarines.

The United States and Russia together have far more deployed and deployable nuclear weapons. Russia has 5,977 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. America has 5,428 warheads. These two countries have about 90 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons. Putin announced as soon as he pulled out of the New Start treaty that we would continue to develop and strengthen our armed forces keeping in mind the potential military threats and risks. However, US President Joe Biden has not yet said anything significant about US nuclear weapons and launching platforms.

Putin announced the deployment of hypersonic missiles

Putin said in his speech while addressing the Russian army that we will deploy some major weapon systems by the end of this year. It also includes the supersonic Kinjal system and the Zircon hypersonic missiles. Putin said Russia would continue mass production of the hypersonic Kinzhal system and begin mass deliveries of sea-based Zircon hypersonic missiles. He also announced the induction of the Borei-A nuclear-powered submarine Project Emperor Alexander III into the Russian Navy and raised the share of modern weapons and equipment in the Russian strategic nuclear forces to 100 per cent.

Emperor Alexander III was launched in late December. It is the seventh submarine of the Borei-A class. All submarines of this class are equipped with 16 Bulawa Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles. However, Putin’s most significant announcement was his decision to deploy the newly tested Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by the end of 2022. It is one of Russia’s most powerful nuclear missiles powered by liquid fuel. It is because of its power that NATO has named it Shaitan-2. Its range is said to be 18000 kilometres, and which can carry 15 nuclear warheads in its year. These warheads are capable of engaging different targets.

The United States and Russia have the weapons to end the world

Among the five ICBMs that can destroy the world, the Sarmat missile is said to be the deadliest missile. The other four have America’s Trident D5 missile on the other, also known as Trident II (Submarine Launch). Russia’s RT-2 PM Topol missile is at number three. It is a road-mobile and silo-based nuclear missile. At number four is America’s LGM-30G MINUTEMAN III missile, which is a ground-based ICBM. At the same time, China’s DONGFENG-41 missile is number five, which is fitted on the Taian HTF5980 vehicle with a 16×16 configuration.

Russia’s Sarmat missile is 35 meters long. Regarding this, Putin says that this missile will force Russia’s enemies to “think twice”. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it weighs 220 tonnes and can reportedly carry 15 lightweight nuclear warheads as part of a MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles). It can also launch the Hypersonic Avangard Glide Vehicle. This vehicle specializes in deceiving missile defence. It can reach its target by adopting an unpredictable path at hypersonic speed. As an ICBM, the Sarmat is considered dangerous due to its ability to carry so many warheads.

US-Russia Nuclear Weapon

The United States and Russia are the two largest nuclear powers in the world, with a long history of rivalry and tension. The two nations have possessed nuclear weapons since the end of World War II, and have engaged in a series of arms control agreements over the years in an attempt to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

History of US-Russia Nuclear Relations

The United States and the Soviet Union (Russia’s predecessor) began developing nuclear weapons during World War II, as part of a race to see which nation could develop the technology first. The US tested its first nuclear weapon in 1945, and the Soviet Union tested its first in 1949.

The Cold War between the two nations, which lasted from the end of World War II until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, was characterized by a high level of tension and the constant threat of nuclear war. During this time, both nations developed and tested increasingly powerful nuclear weapons, and engaged in a series of proxy wars and arms races around the world.

The end of the Cold War led to a significant reduction in the number of nuclear weapons possessed by the United States and Russia. The two nations signed a series of arms control agreements in the 1990s, including the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which required both nations to reduce their nuclear arsenals to no more than 6,000 warheads each.

However, the relationship between the United States and Russia has become increasingly tense in recent years, and there are concerns that the risk of nuclear war may be increasing once again.

Current State of US-Russia Nuclear Relations

The United States and Russia currently possess the largest nuclear arsenals in the world, with an estimated 5,550 and 6,255 nuclear warheads, respectively. Both nations have continued to modernize their nuclear arsenals in recent years, with the US planning to spend an estimated $1.2 trillion over the next three decades on upgrading its nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

The relationship between the United States and Russia has been strained in recent years, with tensions rising over issues such as Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and its involvement in the conflict in Syria. There have also been concerns about a new arms race, with both nations developing new nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

In 2018, the United States announced its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing Russian violations of the treaty. The INF Treaty, which was signed in 1987, banned the production and deployment of ground-launched missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.

In response to the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, Russia has developed a new ground-launched cruise missile, the 9M729, which it claims does not violate the terms of the treaty. However, the United States and its allies have accused Russia of violating the treaty and have called for a renewed arms control agreement to address the issue.

In addition to the INF Treaty, the New START Treaty, which was signed in 2010, is set to expire in 2021. The treaty limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the United States and Russia can possess to 1,550 each, and also limits the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers.

The New START Treaty, and instead called for a new arms control agreement that would include China. However, negotiations between the United States and Russia on a new arms control agreement have stalled, and it remains unclear whether the New START Treaty will be extended or allowed to expire.

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