The United States has hundreds more nuclear weapons deployed and aircraft capable of dropping atomic bombs than Russia, according to State Department data released Tuesday.
Under a nuclear-arms reduction pact the Cold War-era rivals struck last year, both nations are in the midst of reducing their nuclear arsenals.
Congressional Republicans continue to hammer President Obama for those reductions, and experts say the proper size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal could be an election issue for some independent voters who favor a strong national defense.
The State Department data shows the U.S. has 812 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers deployed. Russia possesses 494.
The report also says the the military has nearly 1,740 nuclear-tipped ICBMs and sub-based ballistic missiles, and warheads "counted for deployed heavy bombers." Russia has around 1,490.
Washington also has the edge in the number of total—meaning those that are and aren't currently deployed—nuclear ballistic missile launchers, submarines and bomber aircraft: 1040 to Moscow's 881.
Obama has talked of a "nuclear-free world," and has pushed hard for nuclear weapons reductions between the Cold War foes. More pragmatic Obama administration officials simply want nuclear arsenal cuts because they feel the nation has more than enough and it would perhaps free up billions annually.
But hawkish Republicans on Capitol Hill vow to block big reductions.
One such GOP member is Ohio Rep. Mike Turner, who chairs a House subcommittee that oversees nuclear weapons.
"It has not yet been explained to me how fewer nuclear weapons in the U.S. deterrent is necessarily better for the country's security," Turner said in a recent speech.
Turner hit Obama hard on the issue, saying he is moving away from a line of thinking that has been common with past presidents' nuclear policies.
"Every other president has asked one simple question," Turner said. "What level of nuclear forces do I need to ensure that a potential enemy or adversary knows that if he attacks the United State or our allies, we will have the ability to respond with nuclear forces that could result in nothing less than total devastation?"