U.S. to reduce inventory of strategic nuclear weapons

The U.S. will significantly reduce its inventory of strategic nuclear weapons over the long term, according to the recently released United States Defense and Security Report Q2 2013.

The report details reductions in the size of the nation's strategic nuclear weapons inventory, the pursuit of multiple ballistic missile defense programs and the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

The U.S. armed forces currently possess approximately 5,000 operational and reserve nuclear warheads, including approximately 200 tactical nuclear weapons. The U.S. Department of Defense will reduce its air-launched and sea-launched nuclear weapons delivery systems as part of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the U.S. and Russia.

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency is pursuing multiple ballistic missile defense programs, despite the programs proving highly controversial during the administration of former President George W. Bush. The Pentagon is working on several programs meant to destroy ballistic missiles during their terminal, midcourse, ascent and boost phases of flight.

The U.S. plans to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 after a decade-long military presence. The eventual withdrawal could yield significant savings to the U.S. Department of Defense budget. In Fiscal Year 2013, President Barack Obama requested $525.4 billion for the overall defense budget.

Business Monitor International developed the report, which includes a discussion of the likely effects of sequestration on the country's defense budget, defense posture and military programs.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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