Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Yearbook 2023

  • 16 Jun 2023

Recently, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its Yearbook 2023, which provides comprehensive insights into global security and arms control.

  • China's Nuclear Arsenal Expansion: SIPRI reports a significant increase in China's nuclear arsenal, which grew from 350 warheads in January 2022 to 410 warheads in January 2023.
  • This expansion raises concerns as it contradicts China's stated goal of maintaining minimum nuclear forces for national security.
  • Potential ICBM Equality with the US and Russia: Depending on the future structuring of its forces, China could potentially possess as many intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) as either the United States or Russia by the end of the decade.
  • This projection emphasizes China's growing capabilities and impact on global nuclear dynamics.
  • India and Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal Expansion: SIPRI highlights the expansion of nuclear arsenals in India and Pakistan. Both countries introduced and developed new types of nuclear delivery systems in 2022.
  • While Pakistan remains India's primary nuclear deterrent focus, India appears to be placing increasing emphasis on longer-range weapons capable of reaching targets in China.
  • Global Nuclear Modernization: SIPRI notes that all nine nuclear-armed states, including the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel, continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals.
  • In 2022, these countries deployed new nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable weapon systems, indicating ongoing efforts to enhance their capabilities.
  • Global Nuclear Stockpiles: The SIPRI assessment estimates a total of 12,512 nuclear warheads globally in January 2023. Approximately 9,576 warheads were in military stockpiles for potential use, marking an increase of 86 warheads compared to January 2022. The United States and Russia possess nearly 90% of all nuclear weapons.
  • Decline in Transparency: Transparency regarding nuclear forces declined following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This event had an impact on the transparency of nuclear forces in both the United States and Russia, making it more challenging to assess the true size and capabilities of their respective arsenals.
  • Suspension of Arms Control Dialogues: In response to the conflict in Ukraine, the United States suspended its bilateral strategic stability dialogue with Russia.
  • Furthermore, in February 2023, Russia announced its suspension of participation in the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START).