In a significant development in both the defense and foreign policy arenas, the government is reported to be planning to increase the UK’s stockpile of nuclear warheads.
The development was first reported by the Telegraph’s deputy political editor, Lucy Fisher.
— Lucy Fisher (@LOS_Fisher) March 12, 2021 ">http://
💥EXCL: Govt is set to increase the number of nuclear warheads that Britain can stockpile, Telegraph understands.— Lucy Fisher (@LOS_Fisher) March 12, 2021
Announcement expected in Integrated Review on Tues, in change of direction on non-proliferation. UK has around 180 warheads stockpiled.
More on @Telegraph at 21.30
Fisher was previously the defense correspondent at the Times and is highly regarded in the UK’s defense and security circles.
According to two experts cited by Fisher, the ramping up of the country’s nuclear stockpile is not only a significant departure from disarmament norms since the end of the Cold War but is also indicative of the UK’s desire to escalate the confrontation with China.
Currently the UK has 180 nuclear warheads, down from 500 at the height of the Cold War in the late 1970s.
This development comes on the heels of the government’s announcement of an £80 billion “boost” for the military with a view to upgrading and preparing British forces for the “wars of the future”.
These major defense-related commitments have been announced just ahead of the long-anticipated defense, security and foreign policy review.
The wide-ranging review is expected to be released on March 16 following a long delay, fuelling speculation it will set out a paradigmatic shift in how the UK manages and uses its military capability in the years and decades ahead.
Adding to the country’s already impressive nuclear stockpile is at the very least an indication the UK is preparing to adopt a more assertive posture on the world stage.