A collective $72.9 billion was spent on nuclear weapons by the world’s nuclear-armed nations in 2019, with the US spending nearly as much as all eight other countries combined, according to a report from a global coalition.
The report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) notes that the $35.4 billion spent by the US in 2019 on its approximate 5,800 nuclear weapons was an increase of $5.8 billion spent in 2018.
ICAN estimates the US spent $67,352 per minute on nuclear weapons in 2019.
The Congressional Budget Office has projected the US nuclear forces budget will cost $494 billion from 2019 to 2028 – a 23 percent increase of its previous estimate from 2017.
The $94 billion increase would put annual US spending on nuclear forces for an average of just under $50 billion a year.
The increased budget is a part of the Pentagon’s efforts to bolster the country’s nuclear arsenal to counter Russia. There is widespread concern in the Pentagon that Russia could use a low-yield nuclear weapon on NATO’s eastern flank, a senior Department of Defense official told reporters in February.
The US deployed a new submarine-launched low-yield nuclear weapon in February, which the Pentagon views as being crucial to counter Russia’s arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. These are the first new nuclear weapons that the US has produced in decades, and the weapons were first called for in Trump’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.
CNN’s Ryan Browne, Barbara Starr and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.