NATO's Nuclear Weapons on Standby

World | June 17, 2024, Monday // 10:00
Bulgaria: NATO's Nuclear Weapons on Standby

NATO is considering putting more nuclear weapons on standby amid growing threats from Russia and China. Alliance head Jens Stoltenberg told "The Telegraph" that NATO must display its nuclear arsenal to send a clear signal to its adversaries. He revealed that consultations are ongoing among NATO members to remove missiles from storage and place them on alert.

Stoltenberg did not disclose the operational specifics regarding the number of nuclear warheads to be put on standby or kept in storage, but emphasized the importance of these consultations. He highlighted that nuclear transparency should be a fundamental aspect of NATO's strategy. While NATO's ultimate goal is a world without nuclear weapons, Stoltenberg stressed that as long as such weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance to ensure safety against nuclear-armed nations like Russia, China, and North Korea.

He issued a strong warning about the threat posed by China, noting its significant investment in modern weapons, including its nuclear arsenal, which is expected to reach 1,000 warheads by 2030. This development means NATO could face two potential nuclear adversaries—China and Russia—in the near future, a scenario with serious implications.

The US and Britain have provided NATO with their nuclear deterrent forces, while other European allies store weapons on their soil and invest in systems to launch them. According to The Telegraph, the number of operational nuclear weapons remains secret. However, Britain reportedly has about 40 nuclear warheads on standby out of a total of 225, while the US has deployed around 1,700 of its 3,700 missiles.

Since the outbreak of the full-scale war, Russia has repeatedly issued nuclear threats in response to aid provided to Ukraine. In late February, Putin warned of "tragic consequences" for countries sending troops to Ukraine, mentioning a "real threat" of nuclear war that could lead to humanity's annihilation. Additionally, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council, threatened Poland with a nuclear strike in the event of a world war, reacting to Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski's statement that the US promised to destroy Russian troops in Ukraine if Russia launched a nuclear strike.

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Tags: NATO, nuclear, Russia, China

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