The question is, what benefits, your safety or big business?

By Eli Clifton, Responsible Statecraft

Worldwide spending on nuclear weapons rose by $10.8 billion between 2022 and 2023 with 80% of the increase coming from the United States, according to a new report released on Monday by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

The $10.8 billion increase brings annual global spending on nuclear weapons up to $91.4 billion. From 2019 to 2023, $387 billion has been spent on nuclear weapons.

Military personnel observe a nuclear weapons test in Nevada, the United States, in 1951.

“By comparison, the World Food Programme Executive Director stated in 2021 that to end world hunger, countries could spend $40 billion per year through 2030, which is a total of $360 billion over nine years,” said the report, “Surge: 2023 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending.” ICAN notes that sum is $27 billion less than what the U.S., China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan spent on their nuclear arsenals in just five years.

ICAN points to weapons companies as profiting off the surge in spending on nukes, noting that the top 20 companies working on nuclear weapons earned more than $31 billion from their nuke related work in 2023. And “[t]here are at least $335 billion in outstanding nuclear weapons contracts to these companies, some of which continue for more than a decade,” said the report.

Read More