The United Kingdom will increase its nuclear warhead reserves to a maximum of 260, compared to the ceiling of 180 that had been set for the middle of this decade, according to the British Government’s strategy for foreign and defense policy presented today.

Despite the fact that in 2010 the Executive proposed to reduce the nuclear capacity from 225 to 180 warheads, “the changing security environment”, with a “wide range of threats”, makes that no longer possible, in the opinion of the conservative government of Boris Johnson, and therefore it will be expanded to 260 heads.

Under the strategy for the next decade – known as the Integrated Review – the UK will keep four active nuclear submarines, with one always on permanent patrol, while not providing public figures on the exact number of atomic weapon stocks to ‘complicate the calculations of potential aggressors.

In Tuesday’s presentation of the strategy in the House of Commons, Johnson said the first result of that review will be an increase in defense investment of 24 billion pounds (28 billion euros) to modernize the armed forces and renew the atomic arsenal.

According to the Integrated Review, it is “likely” that a terrorist group will launch a “successful” attack with chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons before 2030, and it is also a “realistic possibility” that state sponsorship of terrorism will increase by the next years.

The document establishes in a forceful way which is the greatest “threat to the security” of the United Kingdom, Russia, and the “greatest ally” of the country, the United States.

“Until relations with your government improve, we will actively deter and defend ourselves against the full spectrum of threats emanating from Russia,” the strategy states.

In spite of everything, London places the emergence of China as a global actor this decade as the most relevant geopolitical factor, which makes that country the “greatest state threat to the United Kingdom’s economic security”, although it recognizes the benefit of maintaining relations bilateral.

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