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Britain reveals extent of nuclear arsenal for first time

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“It’s very much done with a sense of this is what other nations are doing in terms of confidence-building measures and transparency, and we very much wanted to play our part at the very earliest stage that we possibly could."

Appearance of transparency is not enough, when countries like the UK keeps affirming inconsistent policies re. the nuclear proliferation-- on the basis of camaraderie and interests, then who are we to believe.

Sad that the saying all cats are grey in the dark could be twisted by a few, on the back of many.

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When and how did the brits make or get these? Did the US help them?

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When you think about the fact that only two or three of these modern weapons going off at once would radically change the environment, it is terrifying to hear numbers in the hundreds or thousands. But I had actually feared the numbers to be much higher.

We are a foolish species holding the power to erradicate life on earth and still debating if getting rid of these weapons is a good thing or not.

Is there really hope for humanity? I guess time will tell.

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United States has stockpiled 5,113 nuclear warheads

Why would they want all these? What extent of madness do human beings posess?

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As US army bases are US soil, I'm sure there is a bunch inside of Japan's mainland.

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Why would they want all these? What extent of madness do human beings posess?

Its called MAD, if we go down so does everybody else.

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When and how did the brits make or get these? Did the US help them?

Are you joking? Try reading a bit about the Manhattan project, the Cold War.. anyway, short answer is yes, or well, that they helped each other.

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"Its called MAD, if we go down so does everybody else." There is a very big problem with this thinking.

History shows us that no power lasts forever. It also shows us that powers wax and wane. So today's dead empire may well rise again in a new form later. The bottom line message from history is that we should be more practical about governments and nations. We should accept that political situations change. And decide that what is really important is the continuation of the people and our species. Then all this war nonsense and nukes start to have a lot less value. Sadly this isn't possible given the current state of human thinking.

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why in the world did we EVER need that many. Each nuclear sub we have has enough nukes to kill all life on the planet. EACH sub and I think we have 7. As if thats not enough we need 5000 more. plus the ones we didnt like any more. really? the money that went into those nukes could have fed the entire world 10000 times over.

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There is truth in what tkoind2 says. In an ideal world, the UN would be the supreme power. As it is, there is massive struggle and jostle between nations. Greedy dictators take control; who should be able to control them?

Should governments be idealist or practical or both? Perhaps this kind of coordinated ratcheting down is the only practical way for the planet to advance.

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"Its called MAD, if we go down so does everybody else." Yeah your right except for one tiny tiny thing. I have seen charts that represent the amount of nuclear bombs it would take to destroy all life on the planet. They graph had 100 squares. 1 square represented all life dead. one sub filled up 1 square!!! the rest were filled up by various other arsenals we controlled. To make a long story short 100 squares were blacked out. We don't need to MAD the world that many times over.... 2 or three is enough don't you think? so much money, brain power, and man power completely went to waste. AND BUSH WANTED TO BUILD MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Crazy isn't it? Well on a somewhat positive note, if a huge earth destroying meteor or comet heads towards our planet we can "try" to blow it into itty bitty bits. Thats the only POSITIVE use for that many warheads...

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There is a very big problem with this thinking.

Problematic yes but a very human one. If by some gross miscalculation a country with a significant nuclear stockpile launches an ICBM everyone else will launch theirs. It's not just the U.S or Russia, that’s the general plan all around.

We should accept that political situations change. And decide that what is really important is the continuation of the people and our species.

In a rational world perhaps. This is not.

Each nuclear sub we have has enough nukes to kill all life on the planet.

Bah, it would take several hundred at least. Figure nukes have a yield anywhere from .1 to 50 megatons, if we consider only those small enough to put on missiles we're still looking at enough to make North America, Europe, and Asia a pocket marked wasteland but unless somebody's feeling particularly vicious I don't see why anybody would lob them at Australia or Africa, but I guess that’s what nuclear winter is for. But I digress, one sub doesn't have the firepower to kill the world but the reaction to a sub firing them does.

the money that went into those nukes could have fed the entire world 10000 times over.

If farms in the industrialized world were allowed to produce at full capacity the world would already have been fed. However, that would drive food prices down and farmers wouldn't make any money.

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goddog:

When and how did the brits make or get these? Did the US help them?

Why did you capitalize 'US' ?

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@Davetrousers: Are you kidding? After WWII and Tube Alloys, the Manhattan Project, the US refused, with the Mchanon Act, to divulge, share or help with nuclear weapon development. The United Kingdom was the third state to test an independently developed nuclear weapon, in October 1952...

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@YongYang: OK, but presumably some British scientists returned from the Manhattan project, and from the late 50s the two countries started to officially collaborate so surely its fair to say that the US did help the UK get develop some of those warheads.

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betterdays: Why would they want all these? What extent of madness do human beings posess?

I'm not an expert, but the number is probably a bit misleading. What most people don't think about are all the different ways to deliver a warhead. B-2 bombers have a certain type of nuke, submarines have a certain type of nuke (with missiles that have multiple warheads), ICMBs have a certain type nukes (with missiles that have multiple warheads), etc. So the more ways you invent to deliver the nukes the more warheads you end up having.

I don't know if the US is still working on the bunker buster nukes but if they ever come online then the overall number grows, but in reality they've just developed a nuke for a purpose that wasn't around before.

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@trousers: The pudding is in the details.

The United Kingdom was the third state to test an independently developed nuclear weapon, in October 1952...

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The next world war is going to be the last... Who need the best tank, fighter jet and troops when there is already nuke? Say China go to war with US, China is going to get beaten down like dog if they fight without their nuke.. But they wont be like Nazi Germany where they fight till the last one stand! They have Nuke... China will launch all their Nuke and that will be the last war we ever see... China launched, US in retaliate, launched all their nuke and we will be back to flint stone baby!

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We won't be back to Flintstones.

The radiation will guarantee that everything will become grotesque and deformed.

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Afghanistan/Iraq are significantly less powerful than China and yet the US military is barely holding on.

The wars being unpopular has nothing to do with our troop performance. The actual military strength of those countries was dismantled and destroyed in a period of days. Killing we're good at, our ability to rebuild leaves something to be desired though.

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Say China go to war with US, China is going to get beaten down like dog if they fight without their nuke.

Afghanistan/Iraq are significantly less powerful than China and yet the US military is barely holding on. They are like Chihuahuas vs China's Rottweiler.

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Easy way to get countries to remove their nuclear weapons.

Give them a time-limit to remove them if NOT they will be detonated where they are now.

Granted we will end up a few countries short.

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I'd say Britain has enough, the US should drop to those levels or maybe a little higher. Say 2 warheads for every country on earth just as a deterrent

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Give them a time-limit to remove them if NOT they will be detonated where they are now.

That would be a patently awful idea.

Granted we will end up a few countries short.

Between the fallout and the nuclear winter I'd be surprised if anybody made it out.

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History shows us that no power lasts forever. It also shows us that powers wax and wane.

Which is why Israel is now a stronger nuclear power than Great Britain, based on warhead count.

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