When the USSR broke up into fifteen independent states, it's well known that Russia inherited the nuclear arsenal of the dissolving state. I don't know exactly how this was decided: if it was just "obvious" given Russian dominance in the Soviet Union, or "right of might" since Russia was by far the largest and most powerful of the post-Soviet states, or based on some pre-decided rules or contracts/treaties between the then-SSRs. My question is about a hypothetical parallel scenario with the other global superpower of the Cold War.
If the USA breaks up into multiple independent states, which of the emerging states gets the nuclear arsenal?
- The breakup could be in any number of different ways: all fifty states go independent individually; "blue" versus "red" versus "swing" states; east coast versus west coast versus landlocked states; this or this or this; etc. I'm looking for a general answer to cover any breakup scenario, if possible.
- Ideally I'd also be interested in answers valid for any time period, from the Cold War era up to the present. If that makes the question too broad or not feasibly answerable, then let's restrict the time to now, during the Joe Biden presidency.
- Let's assume a peaceful breakup: maybe some riots and such, but no outright war between states. Broadly similar scenario to the breakup of the USSR, to the extent that that's possible with two very different nations.
- Ideally, answers would be based on existing provisions for this scenario in US law. If none such exist, then informed speculation is OK - I've heard that Worldbuilding SE folks are very good at that. Not pure blind speculation, of course: a good answer must be based on some kind of evidence or argumentation.
I've checked the help centre and this meta post, and, as far as I can tell, this question seems to be on-topic. Please let me know if not, or if any further clarifications or scope narrowings are required.