...I don't agree with this move. Divulging this kind of information sets a dangerous precedent in a time of global economic duress (which, prior to the present time has always resulted in sovereign conflict and war) is a mistake.
The Obama administration is likely to reveal a closely guarded secret -- the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile -- during a critical meeting starting Monday at which Washington will try to strengthen the global treaty that curbs the spread of nuclear weapons, several officials said.
Various factions in the administration have debated for months whether to declassify the numbers, and they were left out of President Obama's recent Nuclear Posture Review because of objections from intelligence officials. Now, the administration is seeking a dramatic announcement that will further enhance its nuclear credentials as it tries to shore up the fraying nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The numbers could be released as soon as Monday, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is to address the NPT Review Conference in New York, officials said. She will speak after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is likely to repeat his demands for more global controls over the stockpiles of the nuclear nations.
U.S. officials fear he could hijack the conference with such demands, diverting attention from his own nuclear program, which is widely seen as violating the nonproliferation treaty.
Arms-control groups estimate the U.S. arsenal contains 9,000 weapons, with roughly 5,000 of them active and the rest in line for dismantlement.
Arms-control activists and officials in the Energy and State departments have argued that making the numbers public would prove how much progress the U.S. government has made in shrinking its Cold War arsenal.