There is greater safety in mutual show of ability and might. This is long held assumption showing that an assured mutual destruction would lead to cessation of actions, which can lead to a deadly war. It seems, however, that neither Pakistan or India are done showing off their arsenal and capabilities with another. Some are even worried that their continued practice may take on a deadly direction.
In fact, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just found that Pakistan is actively “rehearsing the use of nuclear weapons.” Last year, retired Pakistan general Khalid Kidwai has said that the country was already able to develop a number of “short range, low yield nuclear weapons” as they believe there is no longer any “space for conventional war.”
At the same time, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has also once declared that his country might just use nuclear weapons against India. In response, India continues to conduct its training against such weapons. According to a report from the Fiscal Times, India is yet to disclose information about their nuclear weapons stockpile as well as on overview of their present and future nuclear capabilities. Meanwhile, Pakistan is also yet to do the same.
While tensions continue to brew in South Asia, the U.S. is busy enhancing its nuclear weapon capability in response to any nuclear aggression in the world. According to the latest report from the Arms Control Association, the total cost of the country’s nuclear weapons program is expected to cost as much as $1 trillion over the next 30 years. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of nuclear forces between FY 2015 and FY 2024 at around $348 billion.
The country is said to be in the process of modernizing and refurbishing its existing warheads. They are either being replaced with new systems or getting completely rebuilt using new parts. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has also told the House Armed Services Committee that the process of “modernizing and sustaining” the countries nuclear weapons will cost around $18 billion a year between 2021 and 2035 if estimated in FY 2016 dollars. With the combined cost of maintaining the country’s current nuclear weapons, however, that cost roughly doubles, going from three percent to seven percent of the overall defense budget.
As of the moment, the U.S. has already deployed as much as 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), and Strategic Bombers.