Are We Headed For World War III?

The World came to a stand still when North Korea threatened to use its nuclear arms against US, the only country that ever used a nuclear weapon on another country. According to an estimate there are about 26,000 nuclear warheads around the globe. This is enough to destroy the entire human civilization and most of the life on the earth. US defense secretary, Chuck Hagel has declared North Korea “a real and clear danger” to its neighboring countries and America.

Pros and cons are always a part of the game apart from other reasons that push a country to acquire nuclear arms. The primary reason is for protecting and defending one's land. But many countries have taken themselves way beyond this limit and accelerated their nuclear program to an extent so as to be called as super power and pose a threat to the rest of the world. This race for the arms have been into debate for the past several decades. Though most of the countries have disclosed their nuclear arsenal there are many who have decided to stay away from the spotlight.

Top Ten Countries with Nuclear Weapons or Warheads in the World

Top Ten Countries with Largest Nuclear Weapons

Top Ten Countries with Largest Nuclear Weapons

The Nuclear Saga

Russia with 10,000 nuclear warheads tops the list of countries with nuclear weapons around the globe. Second in the list is United States of America. US is believed to possess around 8,500 nuclear weapons. Till date US is the only state to have ever used nuclear weapon on any other country. The US bombing of 2 Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 is still one of the most dreaded event. United States along with Canada and United Kingdom started the Manhattan project under the fear that Nazi Regime would eventually appear as a threat by developing nuclear weapons. France comes next in the list. France did not wanted to lag behind in the race of warheads. They too wanted to be among the super powers at least in Europe if not in the world. France did its first test in 1960. In the current scenario France holds a stockpile of around 300 nuclear warheads.

China was worried of both US and Russia and hence worked hard and fast to conduct its first nuclear test in 1964. Ever since its first test China is quite adamant of getting on levels with US and Russia. This is quite apparent with 240 nuclear weapons in its bag in a very short span. The most commendable fact of all is that china is the only country in the nuclear weapons club to have adopted “First no use” policy. UK stands on number five in the list with its 225 Nuclear weapons. Though UK was in collaboration with US on the Manhattan project, it completed its first test in 1952. Of course most of the data and resources used was from Manhattan project. For UK it was all about realizing independent identity. With its first nuclear test in 1998 Pakistan follows the list. Pakistan started its own nuclear program in retaliation to India. According to subject matter experts Pakistan is believed to be receiving a helping hand from China. Today Pakistan is believed to have a stock of around 90-110 nuclear weapons.

India tested its first ever nuclear program in 1974. though India has maintained a decent level of transparency on its nuclear program and pledged it on the grounds of peace, it has never denied to channel their civilian nuclear technology and resources for nuclear weapons. Experts opine that India came into the race of nuclear armament only to be at par with China. Currently India has about 80-100 nuclear weapons in its domain. Israel had never made it official about their stand on its nuclear program. Its not very clear about the possession of their nuclear armament. However experts assume it to be somewhere around 80 nuclear weapons in total. With their first nuclear test in 1979 Israel stand at number eight. This is followed by North Korea and Iran respectively. The actual possession of the warheads with this two countries is still unknown.

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