PD Smith

UK does not need a nuclear deterrent

16 January 2009 | nuclear weapons, Trident | One comment

Today's Times has a powerful letter from Field Marshal Lord Bramall, General Lord Ramsbotham, and General Sir Hugh Beach arguing against the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent, the Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile:

"Nuclear weapons have shown themselves to be completely useless as a deterrent to the threats and scale of violence we currently, or are likely to, face — particularly international terrorism; and the more you analyse them the more unusable they appear. [...] Our independent deterrent has become virtually irrelevant except in the context of domestic politics. Rather than perpetuating Trident, the case is much stronger for funding our Armed Forces with what they need to meet the commitments actually laid upon them. In the present economic climate it may well prove impossible to afford both."

Let's hope that the words of a former Chief of the Defence Staff might change the minds of the politicians who recently voted to renew Britain's nuclear deterrent. You can read the whole letter here.

There is also a very good article by Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, on the need to change the Cold War mindset of our leaders, today's Doomsday Men, online at the New Internationalist.

A fascinating and chilling report by the BBC's Gordon Corera about the crash of a B52 bomber in northern Greenland in 1968, during which a nuclear weapon was lost beneath the ice, illustrates some of the dangers of the nuclear arms race. Read his report here.

One comment so far:

  1. mary | 17 January 2009

    Very interesting!

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