The United States
Introduction: The United States was the first state to acquire nuclear weapons. The US nuclear program started during WWII, and the first nuclear weapon test was conducted on July 16, 1945. In August 1945, the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On November 1, 1952, the United States conducted its first hydrogen bomb (fusion) test. The United States acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a nuclear-weapon state (NWS) in 1968.
Early on in the development of its nuclear weapons, the United States relied on information-sharing with both the United Kingdom and Canada. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower initiated the Atoms for Peace program in 1953 to encourage peaceful use of nuclear technology and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. However, the program allowed a number of states (India, Pakistan, South Africa, Israel) to profit from dual-use technology and develop their own nuclear arsenals.
It is estimated that the United States possesses 5,200 nuclear warheads, consisting of approximately 2,700 operational warheads ((2,200 strategic and 500 nonstrategic), and of about 2,500 additional warheads in reserve. An additional 4,200 warheads await dismantlement.
- Remarks by the President after meeting with Shultz, Kissinger, Nunn and Perry to discuss Key Priorities in U.S. Non-Proliferation Policy. The White House, May 19, 2009.
- U.S. Combat Commands' Participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative: A Training Manual. Charles Wolf, Jr., Brian G. Chow, and Gregory S. Jones. RAND Corporation, May 2009.
- Presidential Statement to the 2009 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference, April 6, 2009.
- Saving the NPT and the Nonproliferation Regime in an Era of Nuclear Renaissance. Hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade July 24, 2008.
- Statement by the President on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. July 1, 2008.
- National Security Bureaucracy for Arms Control, Counterproliferation, and Nonproliferation Part I: The Role of the Department of State. Hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Colombia (link to several PDFs), May 15, 2008.
- Every State a Superpower? Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century
Hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, May 10, 2007.
- Hearing on Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and the Proliferation Security Initiative at the Department of Defense. April 11, 2007.
- A Review of U.S. International Efforts to Secure Radiological Materials. Charles Ferguson. Council on Foreign Relations, March 13, 2007.
- Continuation of the National Emergency Regarding the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. October 30, 2006.
- Weapons of Mass Destruction: Current Nuclear Proliferation Challenges. Hearing before the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, September 26, 2006.
- Assessing 'Rights' under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Hearing before the House International Relations Committee, March 2, 2006.
- U.S. Implementation of Article VI and the Future of Nuclear Disarmament," Jackie W. Sanders, Special Representative of the President for the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Statement at the 2005 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, May 20, 2005.
- U.S. Statement at the 2005 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Stephen G. Rademaker, Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, May 2, 2005.
- United States Initiatives to Prevent Proliferation," Bureau of Nonproliferation, Department of State, Fact Sheet, May 2, 2005.
- The U.S. Approach to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. Stephen G. Rademaker, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Statement before the House International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation, April 28, 2005.
- 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference: U.S. Objectives. Bureau of Arms Control, Department of State, Fact Sheet, April 21, 2005.
- U.S. Compliance With Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Stephen G. Rademaker, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Remarks at a Panel Discussion at the Arms Control Association, February 3, 2005.
- All Tools at Our Disposal: Addressing Nuclear Nonproliferation in a Post-9/11 World. Policy Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, January 28, 2005.
- The Bush Administration’s Forward Strategy For Nonproliferation. John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Remarks to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, October 19, 2004.
- The Bush Administration's Nonproliferation Policy: Successes and Future Challenges. John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Testimony before the House International Relations Committee, March 30, 2004