Hans M. Kristensen

Articles by Hans M. Kristensen

19 June 2013

De-alerting nuclear forces

Hans M. KristensenMatthew McKinzie

The practice of keeping nuclear weapons on alert evolved during the Cold War, as the United States and the Soviet Union deployed fully-armed nuclear weapons that could strike the adversary before it could retaliate. 

1 May 2013
Nuclear notebook

Russia is in the middle of modernizing its nuclear forces, replacing Soviet-era ballistic missiles with fewer improved missiles. In a decade, almost all Soviet-era weapons will be gone, leaving a smaller but still effective force that will be more mobile than what it replaced.

1 March 2013
Nuclear notebook

As of early 2013, the United States has continued to reduce its nuclear stockpile, and retirement alone has accounted for a dip of over 250 warheads since last year. Of the total stockpile of approximately 4,650 warheads, an estimated 2,150 warheads are deployed.

1 November 2012
Nuclear notebook

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the United States and the Soviet Union walked back from the brink of a nuclear war.

1 September 2012
Nuclear notebook

In this Nuclear Notebook, the authors write about nonstrategic nuclear weapons—starting with the difficulty of finding a universal definition for them. Although the United States and Russia have reduced their nonstrategic stockpiles, significant inventories remain.

1 July 2012
Nuclear notebook

In April 2012, India successfully test-launched the Agni V ballistic missile—and though the missile needs more testing and is still several years away from operational deployment, the Agni V introduces a new dynamic to the already complex triangular security relationship among India, Pakistan, an

1 May 2012
Nuclear notebook

As of early 2012, the United States maintained an estimated 2,150 operational warheads. The arsenal is composed of roughly 1,950 strategic warheads deployed on 798 strategic delivery vehicles, as well as nearly 200 nonstrategic warheads deployed in Europe.

1 March 2012
Nuclear notebook

Despite the promise of a more transparent future after Russia's ratification of New START in January 2011, the international community’s ability to monitor developments in Russia’s nuclear forces has become more difficult because the Kremlin does not release full aggregate treaty numbers of the c

1 January 2012
Nuclear notebook

In this Nuclear Notebook the authors highlight the key milestones and facts regarding the nuclear pursuits of the first five states to develop nuclear weapons—the United States, the Soviet Union and Russia, Britain, France, and China.

1 November 2011
Nuclear notebook

Today, China is the only one of five original nuclear weapon states that is increasing its nuclear arsenal. According to some estimates, the country could “more than double” the number of warheads on missiles that could threaten the United States by the mid-2020s.