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Nuclear-armed states spent $82.4bn on nukes in 2021, US topped list: Report

Press TV – June 15, 2022

The world’s nine nuclear-armed countries – led by the US – spent $82.4 billion upgrading their atomic arsenal in 2021, eight percent more than the previous year, an anti-nuke campaign group has unveiled.

The largest spender by far was the United States, which accounted for more than half the total expenditures on nuclear weapons – followed respectively by China, Russia, Britain, France, India, the Israeli regime, Pakistan and North Korea – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) stated in its annual report, titled “Squandered: 2021 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending.”

“Nuclear-armed states spent an obscene amount of money on illegal weapons of mass destruction in 2021, while the majority of the world’s countries support a global nuclear weapons ban,” the group said in the report, noting that the massive spending nevertheless failed to prevent a war in Europe.

“This spending failed to deter a war in Europe and squandered valuable resources that could be better used to address current security challenges, or cope with the outcome of a still raging global pandemic,” ICAN said. “This corrupt cycle of wasteful spending must be put to an end.”

The group said atomic arms producers had further spent millions of dollars on political lobbying efforts, saying that every $1 spent on lobbying had led to an average of $256 in new contracts involving nuclear weaponry.

“The exchange of money and influence, from countries to companies to lobbyists and think tanks, sustains and maintains a global arsenal of catastrophically destructive weapons,” it said.

The US spent $44.2 billion on atomic weaponry in 2021, followed by China’s $11.7 billion, Russia’s $8.6 billion, the UK’s $6.8 billion, and France’s $5.9 billion, according to the report. India led the more recent nuclear arms developers in expenditures on the mass-destructive weaponry, spending $2.3 billion, followed by the Israeli regime’s $1.2 billion, Pakistan’s $1.1 billion and North Korea’s $642 million.

The report came a week after US-led NATO alliance declared that it did not offer a guarantee to Russia that it would not deploy nuclear weapons on the territories of its two prospective new members, Finland and Sweden.

ICAN’s report further confirmed a statement released by the prominent Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI) a day earlier in which it had warned that all the nine nuclear-armed states were increasing or upgrading their arsenals, and that the risk of deployment of such weapons appeared higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War.

While there is no official confirmation on the amount North Korea spends on nuclear weapons or its arsenal, SIPRI estimates that it possesses as many as 20 warheads.

The Israeli regime, along with India, Pakistan, and South Sudan have never joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), an international treaty purportedly established to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

As of August 2016, 191 states have become parties to the NPT, though North Korea, which acceded in 1985, announced its withdrawal from the treaty in 2003, following detonation of nuclear devices in violation of core obligations.

Critics of the treaty insist, however, that the NPT cannot stop the proliferation of nuclear arms or the motivation to acquire them, arguing that the biggest possessors and developers of atomic weapons are leading members of the global accord. Officials of the treaty have been selective in enforcing nuclear disarmament, imposing sanctions on observant member nations, such as Iran, while ignoring certain atomic arms possessor and developers such as India, Pakistan, and the Israeli regime, which is widely believe to possess at least 300 nuclear warheads.

June 15, 2022 - Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , ,

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