Preparing China for War | The West’s Demographic Problems | American Consensus on Ukraine Has Fractured, and more

If Arms Control Collapses, U.S. and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arsenals Could Double in Size  (Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen, FAS)
The United States has a significant upload capacity on its strategic nuclear forces, where it can bring extra warheads out of storage and add them to the deployed missiles and bombers. Although all 400 deployed US ICBMs currently only carry a single warhead, about half of them use the Mk21A reentry vehicle that is capable of carrying up to three warheads each. Moreover, the United States has an additional 50 “warm” ICBM silos which could be reloaded with missiles if necessary. With these potential additions in mind, the US ICBM force could potentially more than double from 400 to 950 warheads.
In the absence of treaty limitations, the United States could also upload each of its deployed Trident SLBMs with a full complement of eight warheads, rather than the current average of four to five. Factoring in the small numbers of submarines that are assumed to be out for maintenance at any given time, then the United States could approximately double the number of warheads deployed on its SLBMs, to roughly 1,920. The United States could potentially also reactivate the four launch tubes on each submarine that it deactivated to meet the New START limit, thus adding 56 missiles with 448 warheads to the fleet. However, this possibility is not reflected in the table because it is unlikely that the United States would choose to reconstitute the additional four launch tubes on each submarine given their imminent replacement with the next-generation Columbia-class.
Either of these actions would likely take months to complete, particularly given the complexities involved with uploading additional warheads on ICBMs. Moreover, ballistic missile submarines would have to return to port on a rotating schedule in order to be uploaded with additional warheads. However, deploying additional warheads to US bomber bases could be done very quickly, and the United States could potentially upload nearly 700 cruise missiles and bombs on its B-52 and B-2 bombers.
Russia also has a significant upload capacity, especially for its ICBMs. Several of Russia’s existing ICBMs are thought to have been downloaded to a smaller number of warheads than their maximum capacities, in order to meet the New START force limits. As a result, without the limits imposed by New START, Russia’s ICBM force could potentially increase from approximately 834 warheads to roughly 1,197 warheads.
Warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles onboard some of Russia’s SSBNs are also thought to have been reduced to a lower number to meet New START limits. Without these limitations, the number of deployed warheads could potentially be increased from an estimated 640 to approximately 832 (also with a small number of SSBNs assumed to be out for maintenance). As in the US case, Russian bombers could be loaded relatively quickly with hundreds of nuclear weapons. The number is highly uncertain but assuming approximately 50 bombers are operational, the number of warheads could potentially be increased to nearly 600.

An Arsenal of Democracies Can Best the China-Russia-Iran Axis  (Arthur Herman, National Interest)
By bringing its allies together, the United States can confront the gravest threat the free world has faced since the end of the Cold War.

The Ugly Paradox Behind the West’s Demographic Problems  (Howard W. French, Foreign Policy)
France’s pension reforms, Italy’s elder-care robots, and Arkansas’s child labor all have one thing in common: a fear of immigration.

American Consensus on Ukraine Has Fractured (Bruce W. Jentleson, Foreign Policy)
For most of the first year of Russia’s war in Ukraine, U.S. politics “stopped at the water’s edge”—an adage that conveys the tendency for foreign policy to be more bipartisan than domestic policy. While showing some soft spots, consensus on the war—and robust U.S. support of Ukraine—largely prevailed. Not anymore. The issue of how involved the United States should be has begun spilling over into congressional and Republican presidential primary politics, and likely will be a factor in the 2024 presidential election.
Some of this is genuine policy debate. Indeed, in some instances when politics has been too quick to stop at the water’s edge—Vietnam in the 1960s, Iraq in 2003—deeply flawed policies have resulted. No lesser than Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has raised questions about the prospect of a Ukrainian military victory. The resolutely centrist RAND think tank asked, “How does this end?” and journals and magazines such as Foreign Policy are running articles with a range of views as to optimal U.S. strategy.
But while there is some substantive debate going on, the partisan politics have intensified.

Biden Admin to Debut New Emerging Tech Policies at Summit for Democracy  (Alexandra Kelley, Nextgov)
The virtual conference will spotlight how to marry emerging technologies with democratic values, and the U.S. will spearhead new initiatives domestically and abroad.