$3,000 Per Second: The Global Nuclear Arms Race

An aerial photograph of Hiroshima, Japan, shortly after the “Little Boy” atomic bomb was dropped in 1945
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images

$3,000 Per Second: The Global Nuclear Arms Race

Billions are being invested in a nuclear Armageddon.

Once completed, America’s newest B61-13 nuclear bombs are expected to deliver around 360 kilotons of destructive power, 24 times more devastating than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. But in our modern era, these are considered relatively small nukes that can be deployed on an airplane.

One of China’s current long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Dong-Feng 5, is capable of reaching the United States or Western Europe and delivering a nuclear payload of 5,000 kilotons—333 times the one Hiroshima suffered.

If it reached New York City, one of these bombs would instantly kill over 3 million civilians, destroy all infrastructure in the surrounding cities, and contaminate large areas across multiple states with nuclear fallout, making them uninhabitable.

Such destruction seems unimaginable. Yet the world wants more of these bombs.

Nuclear Spending in Overdrive

Global spending on nuclear arsenals totaled $91.4 billion last year, marking a record $10.7 billion increase over the previous year, according to a June 17 report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ican).

This amounted to $2,898 per second, they calculated.

ican chief Melissa Parke said the billions of dollars spent on nukes is more than what the World Food Program estimates is needed to end world hunger. “And you could plant a million trees for every minute of nuclear weapons spending,” she added.

Nine countries have nuclear weapons: China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Of these, the biggest nuclear spender was the U.S., which was responsible for 80 percent of the increase last year and spent more than every other nuclear-armed country combined ($51.5 billion). China was the second-biggest spender ($11.8 billion), followed by Russia ($8.3 billion).

A separate report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (sipri) indicated a lot of spending goes toward modernizing and deploying new nuclear weapons on airplanes, submarines and missile systems, which will make counterstrikes easier and faster.

Currently, 9,585 warheads are in stockpiles for potential use; 2,100 of these are kept in a state of “high operational alert” on ballistic missiles. That number increases each year as the threat of nuclear war intensifies, the report said.

“We have not seen nuclear weapons playing such a prominent role in international relations since the Cold War,” said Wilfred Wan, director of sipri’s weapons of mass destruction program.

NATO vs. Russia and China

The reports came a day after nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance needs to deploy more nuclear weapons amid the growing threat from Russia and China. Member states are considering taking missiles out of storage and placing them on standby, he added.

The U.S. has deployed thousands of nuclear weapons in Western Europe since the 1950s, initially as a deterrent to the Soviet Union. Today, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey still host about a hundred U.S. nuclear bombs. Stoltenberg said the U.S. is now modernizing these weapons in Europe along with the planes that will be used to carry them.

“[A]s long as nuclear weapons exist, we will remain a nuclear alliance, because a world where Russia, China and North Korea have nuclear weapons, and nato does not, is a more dangerous world,” Stoltenberg said.

China remains the fastest-growing nuclear power on the planet, having built over 100 new nuclear warheads every year for the past three years. As of May 2023, the country is estimated to possess more than 500 operational nuclear warheads. This is expected to double by 2030.

China is also building new “fast-breeder” reactors along its coast, which will produce large amounts of weapons-grade plutonium. These reactors are called breeders because they produce more nuclear fuel than they consume. Earlier this year, Russia delivered 25 tons of highly enriched uranium to these breeders to get production started, suggesting the two countries are collaborating to produce nuclear weapons.

With these new plants and Russia’s help, it is not unreasonable to say China’s nuclear arsenal will soon expand to a size comparable or even larger than that of the U.S.

[T]here is ample … reason to believe that China will seek to grow a nuclear arsenal that is substantially larger and more advanced than the United States’ in the coming two decades. Accordingly, the U.S. may need a nuclear arsenal that is larger and more diverse than the one it has now if it hopes to deter simultaneously Russia and China.
—“Advantage Over Parity: Assessing China’s Expanding Nuclear Arsenal,” heritage.org

Russia still has the largest nuclear stockpile in the world, with over 5,500 nuclear warheads. Over the past two years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened to use this arsenal to deter the West from a military intervention in Ukraine. Last month, Russia began exercises to simulate the launch of tactical nuclear weapons. It also started delivering those weapons to Belarus.

Such Russian aggression is prompting Europe to call for its own nuclear umbrella. Without nuclear deterrence, Europe’s leaders fear they will end up like Ukraine. The Trumpet has often said this fear will cause the Continent to unite militarily. This could include the development of Europe’s own nukes or France sharing its 300 nuclear warheads with other European nations. It could also mean the U.S. will give Europe more control over the American bombs on the Continent, which would reduce response times to a Russian attack.

‘Mutually Assured Destruction’

America has enough nuclear weapons to destroy China and Russia many times over, and vice versa. In fact, the United Nations estimates enough nuclear weapons exist globally to destroy humanity and all other biological organisms on earth 55 times over.

Still, both sides continue to build a larger and more advanced arsenal. That is because, for now, nuclear weapons are merely a means of deterrence—a show of force. When Russia and China start building more nuclear weapons, the U.S. and its allies feel compelled to build more so they stay ahead of the race.

This vicious cycle of nuclear arms buildup is driven by “mutually assured destruction,” the principle that a nuclear strike by one superpower will be met with an overwhelming nuclear counterattack resulting in the annihilation of both powers. Fear of this outcome has held back nations from actually using their nuclear weapons in war since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But what if the unthinkable happened? It would take only one nation to overcome the fear of mutually assured destruction, and nuclear war would explode. Bible prophecy shows that is exactly what will happen—and sooner than you might think.

At the Edge of Nuclear Abyss

During His ministry on Earth, Jesus Christ prophesied of a specific conflict that would take place near the end of this age. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]” (Matthew 24:21-22).

Since our modern era is the only time in history where mankind is capable of annihilating itself, this has to be a prophecy for today. This is speaking of an unprecedented time of suffering: a coming nuclear World War iii.

We are now at the edge of this nuclear abyss!” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’

That booklet was first published in 2017. Since then, global nuclear spending has jumped more than 33 percent. While you read this article, around $700,000 more was invested in this nuclear Armageddon. Meanwhile, Iran is closer than ever to becoming the 10th nuclear power. Many other nations—namely Japan, Poland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine—are discussing the possibility of obtaining nuclear arsenals of their own.

This makes Mr. Flurry’s statement all the more true today. It seems the world is already falling into this nuclear abyss.

But the Bible shows there is still hope. Notice how Christ said that no human life would be saved “unless that time of calamity is shortened. But it will be shortened …” (verse 22; New Living Translation).

Before Europe, Russia or China have the chance to detonate enough nuclear bombs to eradicate all human life, Jesus Christ Himself will miraculously intervene.

God will let mankind go just far enough for people to learn that they can’t rule themselves and that peace comes only by keeping His law of love. Then He will rid the world of all forms of destruction and establish His government on Earth forever.

To learn more about what lies ahead and how God will save mankind from complete annihilation, order a free copy of Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’