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State Department discloses number of nukes in US stockpile

Antiwar

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There's top secret technology that goes into various weapons systems. I sincerely doubt there are any TS weapons. However, I just had a Secret clearance, so I wouldn't have been privy to them.

Secrecy is a big part of US militarism.
 

Oozlefinch

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So instead of being able to destroy the world 50x over, we'll only be able to annihilate all life on Earth only 48x over.

God, I love when the ignorant say these kinds of things.

You are aware that the actual yield of our nukes is not all that big, right? What, do you think we are stockpiling huge numbers of 20 megaton bombs that could destroy a city?

The current warhead on the Trident is the W76-2. With a yield of 5-7kt. That is 1/2 to 1/3 the yield of even the Little Boy Device. The Minuteman ICBMs? With either a W87 (300 kt) or W78 (350 kt) warhead. The largest "nukes" we have in our inventory is the roughly 650 B83 gravity bombs, at a whopping 1.2 mt. The vast majority are in the single or low double digit kt range.

I always laugh when people for some stupid reason want to believe that every nuke the US has is some kind of monster, like the 60 mt Tsar Bomb.
 

Oozlefinch

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Aren't those numbers classified and if not they should be.

No, and no. They are not secret, nor should they be secret.

The very foundation of MAD is that potential adversaries know what you have.

Hence, the reason why such a big deal was made about a "Doomsday Weapon" in Dr. Strangelove.

Dr. Strangelove : Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you *keep* it a *secret*! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?
Ambassador de Sadesky : It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.

 
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Questerr

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So instead of being able to destroy the world 50x over, we'll only be able to annihilate all life on Earth only 48x over.

The stockpile isn’t deployed warheads. Most of those are just sitting in storage bunkers, not attached to any launch system.

They are also nearing the end of their shelf life for the most part and the stockpile is going to shrink a lot in coming decades.
 

Questerr

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Aren't those numbers classified and if not they should be.

By treaty, they can’t be. START requires the USA and Russia to disclose how many warheads are in their stockpiles, how many deployed warheads they have, and the nature of those deployed warheads.
 

Questerr

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1000 nukes don't mean chit if the other guy has 2000 and he now knows he outnumbers you 2 to 1.

It does matter, because those 1,000 warheads will still destroy the other guy. The fact that he can kill you twice while you kill him once still leaves him dead.

It’s one of the reasons why I support a move towards a Credible Minimum Deterrent.
 

Questerr

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God, I love when the ignorant say these kinds of things.

You are aware that the actual yield of our nukes is not all that big, right? What, do you think we are stockpiling huge numbers of 20 megaton bombs that could destroy a city?

The current warhead on the Trident is the W76-2. With a yield of 5-7kt. That is 1/2 to 1/3 the yield of even the Little Boy Device. The Minuteman ICBMs? With either a W87 (300 kt) or W78 (350 kt) warhead. The largest "nukes" we have in our inventory is the roughly 650 B83 gravity bombs, at a whopping 1.2 mt. The vast majority are in the single or low double digit kt range.

I always laugh when people for some stupid reason want to believe that every nuke the US has is some kind of monster, like the 60 mt Tsar Bomb.

The W76-2 has only barely begun deployment and it’s unclear if it’s going to replace all Trident D5 warheads. Most D5’s are armed with ~100kt W76-1’s.
 

Questerr

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There's top secret technology that goes into various weapons systems. I sincerely doubt there are any TS weapons. However, I just had a Secret clearance, so I wouldn't have been privy to them.

There are. And obviously I can’t give examples.

Edit:Correction, I can give an example. A formerly Top Secret weapon that was declassified: the BLU-114 “Graphite Bomb”.
 

Oozlefinch

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The W76-2 has only barely begun deployment and it’s unclear if it’s going to replace all Trident D5 warheads. Most D5’s are armed with ~100kt W76-1’s.

Close.

The original was the W76, at 100kt in 1979. Those were replaced with the W76-1 (90 kt) from 2008-2018.

The current version is the W76-2. A variable yield 5-7kt warhead. The first 250 are already being replaced with the W76-2, and as they come up for replacement over the next decade most will be replaced with the lower yield warheads. We will likely keep some of the W76-1 in service (for use against highly fortified targets). But most will be upgraded to the W76-2 because it is a better weapon for most requirements. You do not need to destroy all of Travis Air Force Base along with the city of Fairfield and surrounding cities, if your only requirement is taking out the main part of the base itself. The same if your target is the Shipyard at San Diego. Better to take out just the shipyard, and not devastate the entire town.

But if your target is say the silo sites at Minot, then use a bigger one to be sure. Especially as there are no real communities nearby to damage.

For the last 40 years, the US has been moving to smaller and smaller yield weapons. Improvements in the CEP of our missiles had made the large ones obsolete and impractical. Even MIRV has largely fallen away. Seeing it as better to launch a single highly accurate warhead within 5 meters of the target more effective than blanketing a large region with multiple smaller ones as their CEP was 100-1000 meters.
 

Antiwar

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The use of conventional weapons is stupid. The existence and very potential use of nuclear weapons is beyond stupid. Earth's ecosystems are on the brink of disaster and stupid militarism is aggravating that even without launching any explosives because US militarism is the world's biggest polluter. Add in explosions, which blatantly destroy the environment, or nuclear explosions? ****ing stupid. Mutually assured stupidity.

These geniuses concluded that 100 nuclear weapons should be the rational national limit. The rational limit is zero nuclear weapons. Nuclear autumn, nuclear winter, or nuclear end of human life on Earth? Who knows? Some people are stupid enough to want to find out.


You could listen to these people or someone on the internet that was in the military. The ****ing killer clowns at the Pentagon aren't going to be bothered with listening to either.

"This is your COVID wake-up call: It is 100 seconds to midnight"

 
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Jredbaron96

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It does matter, because those 1,000 warheads will still destroy the other guy. The fact that he can kill you twice while you kill him once still leaves him dead.

"Within ten years, we shall have the means to kill 80 million Russians. I truly believe that one does not light-heartedly attack people who are able to kill 80 million Russians, even if one can kill 800 million French, that is if there were 800 million French."
 

Oozlefinch

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"Within ten years, we shall have the means to kill 80 million Russians. I truly believe that one does not light-heartedly attack people who are able to kill 80 million Russians, even if one can kill 800 million French, that is if there were 800 million French."

Said by Charles de Gaulle. Once again, the very foundation of MAD. It works, because a potential enemy knows you could in return inflict massive losses against them, so will not do so against you. And it is effective, one of the reasons that Chemical weapons were never used by the Axis or Allied powers against each other during WWII (but Japan did use them in China as they did not have such weapons to retaliate with).

A lot of people have a very childish and simplistic mindset. That if we throw away all of our nukes, then everybody else will do the same. A nice dream, but it is not reality. And as I live in the real world, and recognize that a great many countries would not hesitate to use their nukes if they thought there would be no retaliation.

If the US and all of NATO was to toss out their nukes, does anybody actually think that North Korea would not then feel free to use theirs against South Korea? Or even Japan or the US bases they could reach? Or that a nuclear Iran would not do the same against Israel?
 

Peter

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1000 nukes don't mean chit if the other guy has 2000 and he now knows he outnumbers you 2 to 1.

Why bother after 1,000?
The consequences of that many nukes going off will be the end of all life so who cares if the enemy has 10,000?
Everyones still just as dead.
 

Antiwar

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A lot of people have a very childish and simplistic mindset. That if we throw away all of our nukes, then everybody else will do the same. A nice dream, but it is not reality. And as I live in the real world, and recognize that a great many countries would not hesitate to use their nukes if they thought there would be no retaliation.

You claim that you live in "the real world" yet you start off with "if we throw away all of our nukes, then everybody else will do the same." In the real world, we know that all nuclear arms reduction treaties have been agreements between nuclear armed countries, not "hey, I'll dump mine and hope you dump yours." So who is it that has the "childish and simplistic mindset"? That would be you with your massively wrong straw man argument.
----

"A great many countries" don't have nuclear weapons.

We know that two countries ratcheted up the nuclear arms race (US and Russia), and they've been significantly reducing their arsenals.

And we know that nine countries have nuclear weapons, with the US and Russia having >90% of all nuclear weapons. Obviously the US and Russia are the biggest nuclear threats to the world.
 
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Questerr

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Why bother after 1,000?
The consequences of that many nukes going off will be the end of all life so who cares if the enemy has 10,000?
Everyones still just as dead.

It wouldn’t be the “end of all life”.
 

Questerr

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What would it be?

Reducing the standard of living in struck area to the medieval period and leaving lingering radiation causing birth defects and cancers for decades to maybe a century.
 

Antiwar

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Reducing the standard of living in struck area to the medieval period and leaving lingering radiation causing birth defects and cancers for decades to maybe a century.

That would be the minimum if there were a minimal strike. Did you forget the MAD theory? Did you read the links in #36?
 

Court Jester

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We should get rid of half of those nukes. We could "give" some to China, and then some to Iran, maybe Afghanistan too.

Airmail would be the fastest way.
 

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Even the relatively small Nuclear arsenal's of the UK and France are enough to end any country on the planet. The reality is most politicians enjoy power and money, ergo they would rather not loose it all.
 

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It wouldn’t be the “end of all life”.

Maybe not but it may as well be as humanity would be pretty much blasted back to the stone age what with all electronics being fried by EMP and all cities being smoking ruins. Where's the value in winning when all you win is a smoking wasteland filled with radiation?
 

Peter

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Even the relatively small Nuclear arsenal's of the UK and France are enough to end any country on the planet. The reality is most politicians enjoy power and money, ergo they would rather not loose it all.

Just the payload from 1 Trident Sub would be enough to pretty much destroy the economy of the US if for some unknown reason they decided to fire on them.
The damage of a couple of nukes in the top 6 or 7 cities in the US would do would be unimaginable.
Just treating the casualties would be unbelievably expensive as there'd be literally millions of them.
I think some people underestimate just how devastating even a small conflict with nuclear weapons would be.
 

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Well just look at Japan. 2 small yield nuclear devices brought a nation to its knees, a nation which had fanatically vowed to fight to the last man woman and child.
 
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