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Grim Blueprints
Snapshots from the U.S. Playbook for Nuclear Attack

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All told, just 741 such warheads worldwide -- a fraction of the current U.S. arsenal -- could threaten with nuclear Armageddon more than half a billion people in the United States and other NATO nations, Russia, China, and worrisome "nuclear wannabes" such as Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya.

Nuclear arsenals far smaller than those currently deployed by the United States and Russia would remain a terrible threat to modern societies. The truth is that nuclear weapons are simply indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction; all of the complex scenarios of the U.S. nuclear war plan ignore the grotesque results that would occur if nuclear weapons were used. An honest acceptance of this reality should force a reevaluation of the war plan, and spur action to reduce the number of nuclear weapons to minimal levels.

NRDC "Assured Destruction" Calculations Using 1999 World Population Data

Country 1999 LandScan Population 25% of the 1999 LandScan Population Number of 475-kt Weapons Required to Threaten 25% of the Population
United States 258,833,000 64,708,250 124
Canada 28,402,320 7,100,580 11
United Kingdom 56,420,180 14,105,045 19
France 57,757,060 14,439,265 25
Germany 81,436,300 20,359,075 33
Italy 57,908,880 14,477,220 21
Spain 39,267,780 9,816,945 20
All NATO Member Countries17 754,933,329 188,730,000 300
Russia 151,827,600 37,956,300 51
China 1,281,008,318 320,252,079 368
North Korea 22,034,990 5,508,747 4
Iran 64,193,450 16,048,363 10
Iraq 20,941,720 5,235,430 4
Syria 14,045,470 3,511,368 2
Libya 5,245,515 1,311,329 2

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