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The anniversary of the United States atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki serve as a reminder of the danger posed by nuclear weapons and the need for this country to work in good faith toward their elimination. The bombings killed more than 200,000 people and set in motion an arms race that has resulted in several near brushes with nuclear war.
There are more than 20,000 nuclear weapons in existence today. The vast majority of these weapons are held by the United States and Russia, with 9,400 and 13,000 respectively.
President Obama has stated his support for a world free of nuclear weapons and has made the reduction of both the United States and Russian nuclear stockpiles and a ban on nuclear weapons testing through ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty key priorities for his administration.
Through the Nuclear Posture Review due at the end of the year, the Obama administration will be establishing what roles nuclear weapons will play in foreign policy. There are those in Congress who want to spend billions of dollars to build new modernized facilities that would enhance the United States’ capacity to develop, design, and produce new nuclear weapons.
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