Jeffrey LewisWhirledview: A New Blog of Note

Cheryl Rofer over at Whirledview, a nice blog maintained by three persons with excellent national security bona fides, has a sensible post about dropping the total U.S. nuclear arsenal to a few hundred deployed warheads.

Check it out.

I would only quibble with Rofer’s mention that China “holds about 400 nuclear weapons.” As I’ve said, the consensus NGO estimate is too high by a factor of four.


Full Disclosure: I have a bias in favor of the 1997 National Academies study Rofer cites: two of my dissertation committee members served on the committee.

Also, I couldn’t help grousing about the consensus estimate on Chinese nuclear forces (via the Carnegie Endowment) because I am writing a letter to the editor of Arms Control Today suggesting that number should be revised.


  1. Cheryl Rofer (History)

    Thanks for the kind words, Jeffrey. I took the 400 number for China from the Carnegie Endowment. The number I halfway recalled from a variety of discussions was 80, but I wanted to have a link so that people could check up on me.

    …guess I’ll just have to read all the armscontrolwonk archives…when I have time…

  2. Jeffrey Lewis (History)

    Mea culpa.

    I should have added that Arms Control Today made the same decision.

    I am submitting a letter to the editor, which is why I am working today …

  3. Paul Kerr (History)

    Without getting into the details about the Chinese arsenal, I would just like to add that almost every NGO estimate I’ve seen appears to use the NRDC’s numbers. Now NRDC is obviously a great organization with lots of smart people, but it is a bit troubling that the methodology underlying their calculations is not transparent. I (and others) would like to know how they arrived at their conclusions regarding Beijing’s nukes.

    If such an explanation does exist somewhere, I would love to see it.

    That said, it would obviously be helpful if the Chinese were more forthcoming about their arsenal.

  4. Jeffrey Lewis (History)

    Right-hand, meet left-hand.

    Hans and I were trying to schedule a meeting when Stan gets back to do just that.

    Thanks for getting my back, though.