The number of nuclear weapons worldwide has declined significantly, but the United States must continue to work to counter worldwide nuclear threats, said the American Security Project (ASP) in a report released on Monday. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. and Russia have reduced the number of operationally deployed nuclear weapons by 75 percent.
The U.S. “cannot afford to be complacent” when it comes to working to secure the world’s nuclear weapons, according to the organization’s Nuclear Security Index (NSI), a report created to educate policymakers and the public on the current nuclear situation.
“We believe that America must lead other nations in the pursuit of our common goals and shared security. We must confront international challenges with all the tools at our disposal,” retired Marine Corps general and CEO of ASP Stephen Cheney said.
The NSI aims to relay four key facts about global nuclear threats, according to an accompanying press release:
1. The U.S. and its allies and partners still face a wide range of nuclear threats;
2. There are many different kinds of tools to address nuclear threats, such as: military strength, nuclear deterrence, international agreements and organizations, and technological investments like ballistic missile defense;
3. A nuclear weapon cannot be compared to an ordinary bomb since the use of a single nuclear weapon would cause mass devastation and have profound effects on global stability; and
4. To date, only a small number of nations pose a near-term, urgent nuclear proliferation risk. Preventing such threats from escalating in the future will depend on careful leadership and cooperation from all like-minded states working together to enforce common norms.