Trident – there’s consultation for you

trident-protest-001Consultation on the Westminster government’s National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review will close this Wednesday.

Is it worth the time and effort to respond? What’s the point of spending any precious time on something that is a lot like trying to cool a volcano with an ice cube? Nuclear disarmers tend to think that no chance of putting our point of view should be missed, especially if the response can be widely shared. Hammering out a response can help an organisation refresh its stance and re-affirm its values.

This time around there is an additional weight pressing down on the negative side. A few months ago there was a sort of consultation called a General Election. We know who was elected from Scotland. We know that an important plank in their manifesto was a matter of more than minor relevance to the Review – the excising of nuclear weaponry from the defence of the UK. We also know that this crystal clear expression has not made a single dent or scratch in the UK government’s determination to continue with a shiny new version of its vicious weapon system. There’s consultation for you.

Over the years disarmament organisations have resourced the public and political understanding and knowledge of the issue, by monitoring, researching and describing the nuts and bolts, by teasing out the implications of international law, by producing more credible estimates on expense and employment, by engaging with the global disarmament network to lobby at the UN. But the UK government remains stubbornly deaf.

This time a fresh line has been crossed. The disregard of our heartfelt longing will no doubt be soon confirmed by the rubber-stamping of the already rolling Trident replacement programme through the Main Gate decision. We will be further sickened by the usual fantastical and chilling justifications – produced by the same mind-set that does not care how much it tramples on the poor or mortgages the future of the planet.

In this scenario it’s all too easy to fail to register the wide room we have for manoeuvre. For one thing there is the increased impetus for a global ban of nukes via the Humanitarian Pledge which has already attracted 119 national signatories. Touching that wave is like flying into sunlight after a steep ascent from some dreich rain-drenched airport. Main Gate is likely to trigger a renewed interest in Scottish independence as the route to essential change. And whatever impact the Corbyn stir will have on the Labour party it already has had a significant effect on public understanding, not least by focussing on the reality of what our nukes are designed to do. Corbyn’s stand has put the important but minor arguments about money, jobs, “deterrence” and strategy in their place. He does not want to kill millions of his fellow humans and does not want to pretend that he would. And, who knows, the whole edifice may be ready to crumble at one further push.

And we can still act even if we are not being listened to. The pervasive tendrils of the UK’s nuclear weapon system present a huge range of opportunities for demonstration, protest and non-violent direct action. There are the Trident bases themselves, the roads the warhead convoys travel on, the political and governmental heartlands, the corporations that build the pieces and the financial institutions that bankroll the project. And there are the streets and squares of our towns and cities.

If and (as likely) when Trident 2 is given the parliamentary green light our gentle anger must be evident. The Scrap Trident Coalition is already working to identify key contacts across Scotland who can mobilise reactive protest events where they are. If you can help with this or just want to be kept abreast of the plans do contacts us

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  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I laugh every time I hear that the decision has yet to be made; the “main gate” threshold has not been passed. Hundreds of millions of pounds have already been committed to this travesty. In Faslane new facilities are to be built and likewise in the bomb factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield.

    Unfortunately the premise of the article is exactly right; the decision is made and awaits the rubber stamp. The SNP will oppose it but Labour are split and almost every Tory will, like sheep, go through the Yes lobby. The outcome will be the waste of many, many billions of tax revenue on unusable status symbols aimed at retaining our PM in a seat as a permanent member of the security council of the UN.

    There is nothing anybody here in Scotland can do or say that will change things. Even if our whole population gathered in protest the state reporter of record would probably not find it sufficiently important to make the news, unless we stopped the traffic in London.

    1. David McCann says:

      Not sure if that is true.
      Maybe if we said F off with Trident, our brave media would sit up and take notice!

    2. Jane Tallents says:

      There may be little we can do to change the arithmetic of the upcoming Trident vote or to stop the buckets of cash that already pour into the project right now, but spreading awareness of what Trident means to every person in Scotland will hasten the day when we go our own way and pull the plug on the whole thing. Would you buy a fancy big car if the only garage it would fit in was owned by someone who you knew didn’t like big cars and at some point was likely to turf you out? If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of having Trident on our doorstep then the Scrap Trident Coalition is running some skillshare days – first one this Saturday 10am – 4.30pm at the STUC, Woodlands Rd, Glasgow. See Scraptrident.org for more info

  2. Steve says:

    Can I respectfully suggest that you stop referring to the U K as having an independent nuclear deterrent. It does not. And please no “operationally independent” lectures from anyone. We are paying obscene sums of money for an obscene weapon that we cannot use without the ongoing consent and cooperation of the US. If the deterrent was genuinely independent we would presumably be able to use it against the USA if necessary. Does anyone believe we could? A hypothetical situation I know, but MAD is based on a hypothesis. Letting the general public across the UK know that this deterrent is not independent, and could only ever be used by us if it was for a purpose consistent with US interests, may have some effect on the public attitude towards Trident.

    1. Janet Fenton says:

      The article does not suggest that the UK, or any government, has what is referred to as an IND and I cannot imagine that the author, or indeed anyone with an understanding of the issues, would in this day and age. The article is not seeking to change the prevalent public opinion on the topic that is held in Scotland, where Trident is an anathema It is asking us to be active, loud, engaged and effective and even identifies the sorts of activities, the opportunities in time and the methods that Steve and others could involve themselves in, the touter the suiter.

    2. Jeannie Craig says:

      The content of Steve’s comment is what people need to be made aware of, i.e. we pay fantastical sums of money we can ill afford for weapons we have neither say nor control over. This is wrong on every level, particularly when the US War Dogs are pulling the strings.

    3. dunderheid says:

      If the USA was taken over by a christian fundamentalist cabal intent on launching a armed crusade to exterminate infidels in the holy land then I imagine our nuclear deterrant and that of France might come in handy. Likely..of course not…absolutely 100% impossible?…

      The reason right now we cannot envisage a scenario where we would use our nuclear weapons without the consent of the United States is that on the strategic level where the use of those weapons might be envisaged our interests and that of the USA coincide 99%. Could it stay like that forever…probably but you know what I’d rather not take the risk.

      And even now in that 1% I can see scenarios where an IND could be used. Lets say a right wing junta takes over in Argentina…obtains a small tactical nuke, invades Falklands and threatens to use it against any liberating force. The USA, Russia and China to avoid WW3 over a sparsely populated island issue a statement saying they will not get involved unless nuclear weapons over a certain megaton level are used or in areas affecting major population centres…other than that it is left to UK and Argentina to slug it out…our independent nuclear deterrent might be the only allowing a successful invasion. Again very very unlikely…but if you claim it is impossible then you are a hopelessly naive

      1. Steve says:

        There is nothing to envisage. We cannot use this “independent nuclear deterrent’ because we are not able to use it in any circumstances unless the U S both allows us to and facilitates its operation. If you do not understand this you are, to use your own words, ridiculously naive. And the religious fanatics in one of your scenarios would of course welcome exactly the mutual destruction that you think would put them off. MAD indeed.

        1. dunderheid says:

          That is complete nonsense…as I have explained in another comment…right now our use of nuclear weapons is limited by our NATO treaty obligations. However that is because we choose to…there is nothing stopping us choosing to withdraw from those treaties and using our nuclear weapons as we see fit…that is exactly what France did from the 60’s until 2009 when Sarkozy fully integrated France back into NATO.

          Even on a more general level your point is cowardly and naive…you are basically saying the only time we would be allowed to use nuclear weapons is when the USA would want to use them also… and for 99% of the time that is very uncontroversial. However what you take from that is we shouldn’t bother to have our own nuclear weapons because the USA will use theirs to protect us anyway…how very noble and very trusting in the United States…I’m sure you extend that trust in all geopolitical matters

          Finally…you may be right about certain fanatics being undeterrable…but at the end of the day if faced with utter destruction at the hands of those fanatics, would rather it was mutual and that I died knowing we went down fighting, however futilely, than to meekly slink into oblivion

          1. Steve says:

            Personal abuse is the final resort when you have no real points to make. And putting words into someone else’s mouth then refuting them yoursel is bizarre behaviour. I am completely opposed to nuclear weapons being used by anyone, anywhere. If you can show me where I said I would want the US to protect me using nuclear weapons please do so. If not then you may care to reflect on why you behave in this way and make these palpably false statements. I’m not going to hold my breath.

          2. dunderheid says:

            So if I understand you right…you are a complete pacifist…so even if an aggressor launched an unprovoked nuclear strike against UK your policy would be do nothing and command our allies to do the same?

            Please tell me you realise that in a world that nuclear weapons exist and cannot be uninvented how incredibly foolhardy that would be.

          3. Mike says:

            In what way will we use our nuclear weapons in a “way we see fit”?

            “Yes, Trident cannot prevent a nuclear attack and allows us only the option of retaliation….therefore if someone attacks us our submarine based (and theoretically undetectable) Trident will be able to retaliate no matter what the command and control situation left in the UK…therefore any would be rational would be attacker should be deterred (see what I did there) from attempting a first strike as he cannot avoid massive retribution.”

            What you’ve said there in effect is that nuclear weapons are ONLY useful as deterrents and not as first strike weapons so who would use them as a first strike weapon if all they are good for is retaliation for a first strike?

            And that begs the question as to what use is retaliation over a first strike when the damage is already done? If we have to retaliate then the concept of deterrent has failed.

            You people are beyond redemption. The only reason people even try to support the concept of nuclear proliferation is because of the perception of power over others it gives them.
            This is about swanning around the world waving a big stick its not about deterrence at all.

            Retaliation isn’t deterrence. Retaliation is a failure to deter. So where is the power of retaliation?

            The only real power nuclear weapons have is the terror of first strike and its that power which supporters of nuclear proliferation want. The threat to be able to first strike with nuclear weapons is the ONLY motivation for the continued proliferation of them.

            They are absolutely worthless as a deterrent. They don’t stop conventional attacks they don’t deter terrorism and they are absolutely pointless as a means of retaliation for a first nuclear strike.

          4. dunderheid says:

            I’m going to speak slowly and use small words so you understand….

            No…country…who…wanted…to…carry…on…as…a…working…state…after…would…launch…nukes…if…they…were…100%…sure…the…country…they…wanted…to…use…them…against…would…be… able…to…destroy…them…with…its…own…nukes

            The deterrance is the fear of the retaliation…a retailiation that must be 100% guaranteed for that fear to overcome the urge to gamble on a first strike

      2. Mike says:

        You think you can deter religious fundamentalists who believe Armageddon is the route to paradise on Earth from using nukes by threating to invoke Armageddon if they dared use nukes?

        Reality just isn’t your thing at all is it?

      3. Mike says:

        The US and UK fall out and go to war. The UK starts to lose the conventional war badly and is invaded and is imminently about to end its reign as the UK of GB and is about to become the 51st State of the US. Do we use our nukes as a last gasp effort to survive or not?

        After you give me your answer to that conundrum substitute Russia or China or anybody else in place of the US and tell me what we do with our nukes in that situation.

        1. dunderheid says:

          It would depend..If the avowed aim of the USA, Russia or China was the complete extermination of every UK citizen then the threat of nuclear first strike might be justified if you thought it would deter that result. However in that scenario it is unlikely you are dealing with a rational actor so the threat would probably end up being pointless. If the aim of the aggressor was just conquest and occupation then no the use of nuclear weapons would not be justified as their use would just irrevokably provoke a response in which millions of our people would die pointlessly…we would be deterred from using them even at the point of military defeat.

          Secondly…I have been very clear that nuclear deterrence only works on states capably of a rational assessment of the situation. You cannot deter a suicide bomber and you cannot deter a state whos aim is to watch the world burn. That is one reason nuclear proliferation is a risk the more the weapons proliferate…but that risk will always exist and it will exist forever more…because we know how to make these weapons and we cannot unknow it… that is the reality I accept and the one you seem incapable or unwilling to

        2. Graham King says:

          In an (unlikely) scenario of the UK being invaded by US, Russia or China, to then launch a nuclear attack would surely only guarantee the final extermination of Britain’s inhabitants by massive punitive counters trike – rather than some period of downtrodden subjugation.
          Any of these countries massively exceeds the UK nuclear arsenal with their own. Whatever damage the UK might inflict on these far larger, more heavily-armed and far more populous territories, that damage would not disarm them, whereas their provoked retaliation could quite feasibly sterilise the UK to a barren wasteland.

          Meanwhile, a repressive UK government wantonly opts to squander billions on devices worthless as weapons, ineffective as deterrents against non-state-based terrorism or cyber-attack, and which the population cannot afford apart from enforced ‘austerity’ deprivation; while pursuing a foreign policy of war and arms sales which makes hatred towards, and attacks on, the UK more likely – thereby waging war against its own citizens, in all but name.

  3. Bill Fraser says:

    EVEN AT THIS LATE STAGE WE HAVE TO DO ALL WE CAN TO AVOID THIS DISGUSTING FORM OF DEFENSE? /OFFENCE BEING FURTHER ADDED TO .NOT JUST FOR THE COSTS THOUGH THEY ARE HORRENDOUS,BUT ALSO THE THREAT TO HUMAN LIVES.HAVE THEY NOT LEARNED YET THIS IS A NO WIN SITUATION .WE BLAST THEM TO BITS AND THE RETALIATION WOULD BE INSTANT.

  4. bringiton says:

    The pretence that Greater England is still a world power has been laid bare this week with the Wooing of the Chinese state to fund England’s declining civil infrastructure.
    Which nuclear armed state are the British establishment now pretending we need to defend ourselves against?
    When they go cap in hand to Gazprom for supplies of energy to see them through,then Russia will no longer be one of the bogey men.
    Iran is about to sign an agreement which will likely see their nascent nuclear arms program mothballed for a considerable amount of time.
    If any enterprise was to try and commit funds on the level being proposed by Westminster on a business case which clearly doesn’t stack up,they would be told by their backers (UK tax payers) where to go.
    However,the people who are being asked to fund this project will never be allowed to see the case for it and expected to just put up and shut up.
    Not democracy in any shape or form.
    UKOK.

  5. derry vickers says:

    For what its worth here is my comment to the question:
    As I see it, the UK should abandon the idea of a Trident replacement. As Corbyn says neither he nor any other Prime Minister will press the button, it would be suicide. The Government should spend the money saved on conventional forces (and what’s left in balancing the budget and rethinking about social welfare – according as which party is in power). The current flash point is the Middle East, it has been for over 100 years and there is no sign that peace of any sort will occur in certainly the next 50 years (the life of a Trident Replacement). At some time the UK will be called on to put troops on the ground in the Middle East – this requires troops, ships and air support. I find it ludicrous that we are building two aircraft carriers one now for sale and the other to be mothballed because we have no aircraft that can us it. I shudder to think what Mrs Thatcher would have done t the time of the Falklands without the Ark Royal.

  6. David Allan says:

    What kind of a defence strategy exists when you have no industrial capability to produce your own steel. Where your main energy sources / power is controlled by foreign governments, remind me just who represents the threat that necessitates a nuclear weapons program.

    What has the UK got left to defend?

    1. deewal says:

      It’s “special relationship” with the US.

    2. dunderheid says:

      We produce plenty of steel…we just don’t produce it in blast furnaces direct from raw materials like they do at Redcar and Scunthorpe…we recycle steel scrap…surely that is a good thing at least for the planet?

      As for energy self sufficiency…well until we can move to 100% renewables (which is not going to happen in the short term) we have 2 options: we can frac for gas or increase our number of nuclear reactors. I’m guessing these don’t tie in with how you envisaged the socialist eco-paradise of an independent Scotland.

      1. Mike says:

        No we don’t Walter Mitty we import our steel. Our steel industry was destroyed by Thatcher in the 80s and 90s.

  7. Peter Reid says:

    Trident is the most useless weapon devised.
    The people of the UK have been mislead into believing that Trident keeps us safe.
    Those in power say its an ” Independent Deterrent “.
    This is false in both parts.
    Firstly it is NOT independent, it is controlled by SACEUR, ( supreme allied commander Europe )
    Who is an American Admiral, and as such, is part of the North American defence force, Cameron
    or any Brittish PM has little or no influence on when it is used, they may tell you otherwise, but they lie.
    Then the part that says its a Deterent, It does not and cannot be a deterent. If anyone wishes to fire a nuclear weapon at us, Trident cannot stop them, we can only retaliate. Trident is a FIRST STRIKE weapon, that is its sole use, it cannot defend or deter, and it is not Independent.
    So why have it ? The U.S. makes billions and allows the UK to sit at the top table of the U.N.
    The English have some idea that they still have an Empire, and Global Reach with the Military, none of which is true. Simple test, with all the cuts to public services, if putin was to march on Europe could it be fired ? If he invaded any country, could we use it ? The only protection we have is our Armed Forces, but they are being cut, same as our emergency services. Soon the operator at the end of the 999
    Fire, police, ambulance or TRIDENT because Trident will be the only thing we have.

    1. dunderheid says:

      It is controlled by SACEUR only because we have signed up to NATO treaty obligations allowing that. In theory there is nothing stopping us withdrawing from those treaties for the purpose of our own independent use of Trident…exactly the position the nuclear capable French were in during the period they were not members of Nato from the 60’s to 2009.

      Yes, Trident cannot prevent a nuclear attack and allows us only the option of retaliation….therefore if someone attacks us our submarine based (and theoretically undetectable) Trident will be able to retaliate no matter what the command and control situation left in the UK…therefore any would be rational would be attacker should be deterred (see what I did there) from attempting a first strike as he cannot avoid massive retribution. On the other hand as a first strike weapon it is pretty useless…for a first strike to be successful you must reduce to an absolute minimum the ability of your enemy to reply with nuclear weapons…Trident while it could devastate any attacker it is launched against it would not be able eliminate all retaliatory capacity of that aggressor

      Finally…would we fire it if Putin launched a conventional attack on Europe…no…and neither would USA and neither would we have at the height of the cold war. Nato’s defence policy has always been not to launch a first nuclear strike and to reply to conventional aggression with conventional means…which is why we had massive american military bases in Germany…if our automatic reaction to a conventional attack was to go straight to nukes…why bother?

      1. Mike says:

        If the UK fired off its “Nuclear deterrent” without consultation you don’t think the US or France or Russia or China or anybody else wouldn’t fire their nukes at the UK?

        In the name of “deterrence”?

        1. dunderheid says:

          I’m glad you now seem to understand what deterrence means…so…yes..if we launched an unprovoked nuclear attack we would be subject to retaliation by other nuclear powers…and hence we would be deterred from launching that attack. Now that you accept that premise I hope you accept it works in the other direction too…our nuclear weapons and those of our allies deter other countries from launching nuclear weapons against us

          However could there never be situation where we might be subject to a nuclear threat the rest of the world washes its hand of and therefore the only deterrance available is our own weapons (I already highlighted one in this thread involving Argentina)…it is highly unlikely but no one can say it is impossible so why not be protected

      2. Mike says:

        The US has a habit of deterring any nation from indulging in nuclear proliferation which it doesn’t have control over. The US wont allow the UK to have an independent nuclear first strike capability that could potentially be used on the US.

        What is it like to live in absolute denial of all reality?

        1. dunderheid says:

          They try and prevent nuclear proliferation but in many cases fail….hence nuclear weapons in China, India, Pakistan, Israel and potentially in North Korea.

          What they ultimately rely on in preventing the use of those weapons against themselves or their allies, as I am growing weary of explaining, is that any use of nuclear weapons against them would result in the 100% guaranteed utter destruction of the country who launched them

          1. Mike says:

            Why would they try to prevent nuclear proliferation if the idea and concept of nuclear deterrence relies on people having a nuclear deterrent?

          2. dunderheid says:

            Firstly I’m pretty sure the United States would be reasonably relaxed about any other western democracy becoming a nuclear power…in fact Italy and Netherlands while not possessing weapons of their own have been given tactical control of american weapons in the past.

            Their reasons for reluctance to allow proliferation beyond that are threefold: firstly the USA and other nuclear powers would if they had to for the sake of avoiding WW3 tolerate a limited nuclear exchange between two small non strategically important countries e.g Zimbabwe vs South Africa or even Chile vs Argentina. However obviously that is extremely undesirable hence the effort to prevent that from being possible. Secondly nuclear deterrance relies on the actors being states and being rational…the more nuclear armed states the greater the chance, of either a nuclear armed undeterrable fanatical state or a state with inadaquate protection of its nuclear weapons, arising. Thirdly and most importantly the existance of nuclear armed states would severely limit the ability of the USA to use its conventional power…e.g. a nuclear armed Iraq would never have been invaded…maybe you will support proliferation after all

  8. Steve says:

    Janet you miss my point. Public perception is hugely important, and the majority of those in favour of Trident that I speak with are surprised when you point out that it cannot actually be used without American consent. It is another negative to an obscenely expensive weapon. Dissuading people from its renewal on moral grounds does not seem to work. Pointing out that we are paying for something we do not even own or ultimately control may, to certain people, be much more persuasive. Please do not be offended but the forms of involvement mentioned tend to preach to the converted, have been tried for decades and yet here we are with Trident renewal imminent.

    1. Jane Tallents says:

      I think we need to have a raft of arguments – different things strike different people. I was talking to a group in Edinburgh last night about the convoys that bring the Trident warheads to Coulport via the Edinburgh bypass- that brought the message (very close to) home. Knowing we couldn’t use this terrible weapon without the say so of the US may sway some but don’t under estimate the deep in your gut rejection of it that very many people feel and not just those that have campaigned for years. Public perception is important so lets make possession of weapons of mass destruction as unacceptable as drink driving or belting your kids.

  9. Gordon Benton says:

    How long have we been agitating against the so-called IND? And in our heart of hearts we in Scotland know, despite our bold and talented ’56’ in Westminster, and massive opposition to this obscenity, it will remain, and need to be financed for as long as the Establishment down South are in power. We have to win the minds of more of the population of Scotland, get our Independence before we can move the submarines out of this country. The good news is that largely with English taxpayers’ money we will have an excellent port facility, which will go well with the plans we have for a Greater Clyde Development Plan.

  10. AngusMan says:

    I agree with much of what you say but, I marched, I rallied, demonstrated, I shouted along with along the others, in London, in Glasgow, in Edinburgh but to no avail in the 1980s.
    Good luck, but only independence will work.

  11. Kenny Smith says:

    Not quite so many Scots are brainwashed by the idea of deterrent as our English neighbours, that might have something to do with the fact they are kept here. I said brainwashed because that is exactly what it is, brainwashing people of all social standing into believing we need this utterly disgusting piece of kit, its useless. I have said before id rather see the money spent on hospitals, schools etc but if your argument is its for defense then fine, build ships, panes and tanks. Have proper forces rather than trying to back fill the ranks with reservists and kit them out. By the way no offense to reservists, you guys do a grand job but the governments policy is to defend our shores on the cheap while MOD bosses get golden handshakes for failure. The whole thing stinks, like many issues in this rotten union. Trident 2 will be made, it is gutting knowing the vote is a charade but we still have to keep biting away, public opinion has changed towards IND so much over the last 30,40 years. Our cause might be down but like the campaign for indepence itself, not out! One day Scotland will be rid of these God awful creations.

    1. dunderheid says:

      Greenham Common (80 miles west of London btw) not ring a bell? US nuclear weapons have been stored in England from 1954 until 2006 and can be put back at a moments notice if the threat level increases so I think the English are well aware of the risks of deterrence. Even if they hadn’t you don’t think London as one of the major capitals of western democracy would be a prime target in any generalised or even targeted nuclear exchange (even if we unilaterally disarmed!!).

  12. David Allan says:

    For those of my vintage you will remember the Govt “protect and survive” illustrated advice leaflet issued to all households to provide those simple home survival steps e.g. hide under a table or under the stairs with all your family and survival rations. Govt officials and the chosen were of course destined to be in underground bunkers.

    If re-issued in a mass campaign by CND, the public might just realise not only the futility of the advice they might just begin to awaken to the horrors these weapons represent.

    It’s an early demonstration and lesson on Govt’s ability and willingness to use propaganda to mislead it’s citizens.

    1. dunderheid says:

      So in the cause of solidarity we should make absolutely no effort to retain any form of civil government. Sounds sensible. And those leaflets were about giving people hope (albeit largely false) they might survive a nuclear exchange if they took the precautions mentioned. The other option would be to tell them they are all going to die and stand back and watch as complete anarchy took hold

      1. Mike says:

        You deplore anarchy while supporting nuclear proliferation?

        Go look up the definition of schizophrenia.

        1. dunderheid says:

          If anyone needs the help of a dictionary it is yourself given the number times I have had to explain the concept of deterrence

          1. Mike says:

            Your concept of deterrence is to have that which you want to deter.

            Anybody who has a nuclear capacity has the capacity to be the first strike perpetrator!

            Can you guarantee that the selective and it is selective allowance of nuclear proliferation will only be advanced within nations forever incapable or unwilling to first strike?

          2. dunderheid says:

            The possession of nuclear weapons does not deter others from possessing them and in fact as history has shown it has done the opposite…what is does deter very effectively given the last 60 years is their use and for me that is more important

            You need to face the reality that nuclear weapons exist and that they cannot unexist no matter how much you wish it so. Some states will always possess them and some of those states may be led by people who if they could use them against others without consequence would do so without compunction. So you have a choice…you either live in that world and make the hard uncomfortable decisions it imposes, or you retreat into impotent idealism and let others do it for you

  13. Mike says:

    Dunderheid

    “So if I understand you right…you are a complete pacifist…so even if an aggressor launched an unprovoked nuclear strike against UK your policy would be do nothing and command our allies to do the same?”

    I have to give you your due you named yourself well.

    What would be the point of doing anything other than trying to survive a nuclear strike? In what way would it help to retaliate? Millions murdered and the answer is to murder millions more?

    Will you people ever get it?

  14. Mike says:

    Dunderheid

    “I’m going to speak slowly and use small words so you understand….

    No…country…who…wanted…to…carry…on…as…a…working…state…after…would…launch…nukes…if…they…were…100%…sure…the…country…they…wanted…to…use…them…against…would…be… able…to…destroy…them…with…its…own…nukes

    The deterrance is the fear of the retaliation…a retailiation that must be 100% guaranteed for that fear to overcome the urge to gamble on a first strike”

    So the reason anybody has nuclear weapons is not to have a capacity to first strike but ONLY a capacity to deter a first strike through the fear of retaliation? Is that the jist of it?

    So if nobody has nukes in order to first strike with them where is the threat of a first strike and a need for a retaliatory response?

  15. dunderheid says:

    aah… a user name joke…good to see your wit operates at the same level as your intellect…unoriginal and limited

    The act of retaliation itself is irrelevant…personally as I have said before if faced with the utter destruction of me, my family and my country at the hands of an unprovoked attack I would like to hope my government ensured that didn’t go unpunished….but if you were at the button at that moment and decided that the deaths of millions more wouldn’t change anything then you know in a way I could respect that.

    What i couldn’t respect and what would be foolhardy and irresponsible is state before any exchange of nuclear weapons that you have no intention retaliating against a first strike….because then you are putting me, my family and all of us at grave risk…you are saying to would be aggressors that they can attack without risk or consequences

    1. Mike says:

      You would get comfort from retaliation directed at millions who had nothing to do with the first strike?

      See its that level of braindead sick stupidity that has you promoting the idea the anybody should have nukes simply because they exist.

      1. dunderheid says:

        And you could look in the eyes of your children about to die and know that if you did nothing the people responsible would not only escape punishment but would benefit from their deaths…

        We can play this cynical game of trying to claim the moral high ground all day…but it is irrelevant and I have already conceded that once it is necessary to retaliate or not is for your own conscience to decide. But to give any outward impression that you will do anything else but retaliate overwhelmingly is staggeringly stupid and would help bring about that which you want to avoid

        1. Mike says:

          Dunderheid

          “And you could look in the eyes of your children about to die and know that if you did nothing the people responsible would not only escape punishment but would benefit from their deaths”

          You want me to comfort my children about to die by telling them to cheer up because another few million children will die as well as a result?

          Now you’re telling me you’re demented.

          “We can play this cynical game of trying to claim the moral high ground all day…but it is irrelevant and I have already conceded that once it is necessary to retaliate or not is for your own conscience to decide. But to give any outward impression that you will do anything else but retaliate overwhelmingly is staggeringly stupid and would help bring about that which you want to avoid”

          WTF are you havering about. You have no morality from the position you’ve taken at all.

          Do you truly not understand the idea of retaliation is pointless? If there has been a first strike then its because deterrence never existed and retaliation would do nothing but exacerbate the crime and expand it outwards.

          Anybody insane enough to use nukes as a first strike weapon is not going to be sane enough to worry or care about retaliation. No sane person will first strike anybody with or without nukes and no insane person is going to consider or care about consequences.

          The insanity is not only having the capability but expanding and growing it especially when its painful and too expensive to do so and causes suffering as a result of deprivation in other needed causes.

          Anybody insane enough to proliferate a weapon system they tell us they don’t ever want to use and would scrap immediately under the right circumstances while simultaneously depriving people of the welfare they need to survive in order to afford the cost is clearly insane and devoid of conscience enough to first strike with the system for political purposes.

          Who in their right mind would trust any UK Government with nukes? Especially this present group of heartless murderous conscience free lunatics?

          1. dunderheid says:

            As I have said many times the act of retaliation is pointless (although despite your impeccable moral superiority for us lesser mortals it is not completely unreasonable to suggest that the thought of ensuring the people responsible for your death do not escape retribution might give comfort to some in their final moments)….if you are actually retaliating then your deterrent failed. But the important question is why it failed…and it can have failed for the following reasons

            One: you were faced with an undeterrable fanatical foe acting beyond reason…here whether you had nuclear weapons or not is irrelevant…faced with this type of enemy there is no hiding place
            Two:you made it clear you wouldn’t use your nuclear weapons making a first strike by an aggressor a risk free proposition…and in this case by first strike I mean a few small targeted strikes with the aim of forcing you to surrender a la Japan 1945
            Three: your nuclear deterrent wasn’t robust enough…either it was provided by some one else who decided you weren’t worth their own destruction or it is easy to knock out in any targeted first strike (nuclear or conventional)

            The final two are options that while you (and me for that matter) might find terrifying in their cold implacable logic but they are not insane…they are they ways a ruthless but rational state can “win” in a nuclear world…but in both they rely on massive failures on the part of the state they target…failures a well designed IND operated by a state who is capable accepting the relentless and unpleasant reality a world with nuclear weapons imposes on you

  16. Mike says:

    By unilaterally disarming the UK of its Nuclear capacity to potentially first strike are we not making the world that bit safer from a potential first strike nuclear attack?

    In what way would we not be?

    1. dunderheid says:

      Theoretically you would be removing the infintesimally small risk that the UK might launch a first strike. However you would not remove, the unfortunately much more likely, risk of a first strike against us…the UK and London as key elements of western demcoracies will always remain a target. If anything you would be increasing the risk of a first strike against us as the scope of our deterrence has been reduced by what we have given up.

      1. Mike says:

        And that risk is infinitesimally small based on the Westminster Parliaments historic record of peace keeping throughout the world? And its propensity for harbouring Governments opposed to war and aggression?

        Who in the world has shown more aggression through war than the UK?

        And you want to give it Nukes.

        Every post a gem.

        1. dunderheid says:

          Firstly its had nukes for 60 years and not come close to using them…probably because it is not the boogieman of your fevered imagination

          Secondly even if we accept your delusianl logic, if we are hated so much and yet Scotland forces UK to in effect unilaterally disarm aren’t we at even more of a risk of a first strike

          1. Mike says:

            The UK has never had an Independent nuclear option. As far as the so called UK nuclear option is concerned it is subordinate to the US.

            Look what happened to the British and French when they tried to stop American trade interests through the Suez canal.

            They suffered a humiliating public climb down on the direct intervention from the US.

            And what did Cameron confirm to us all in front of the whole world media? “JUNIOR PARTNER” to the US. Wasn’t that what he said? His Government was the “JUNIOR PARTNER” to the US Government.

            You’re rambling is getting beyond a joke now. Its full defiance of all reality.

          2. dunderheid says:

            It is subordinate to the USA because we choose it to be because we choose to be part of NATO…As the French did for 50 years we can leave NATO and be completely responsible for our nuclear weapons if we wish.

  17. Mike says:

    I also don’t get the idea behind “Selective” deterrence. Apparently nuclear deterrence only works as a deterrence if a very “selective” group of countries are allowed to nuclear proliferate while the vast majority are not.

    Apparently you don’t actually have to have your own nuclear response in order to avoid a nuclear first strike because you’d be under the umbrella of somebody elses nuclear response on your behalf.

    Yet the idea behind having a nuclear “deterrence” is to have a nuclear deterrent of your own.

    Its no wonder the acronym “M.A.D” applies to the concept.

    Its staggering that there are people willing to openly and publically show how stupid they are in trying to promote this concept as reasonable.

    1. dunderheid says:

      Sigh…does this need explained again….

      I can only deter you from launching nuclear weapons at me by three ways….

      1: I have my own which I launch at you
      2: I have treaties in place which in effect sub-contract my nuclear deterrence to some-one else who I then have to trust follow through on that commitment
      3: I put in place a combination of the above

      The advantages of 1 is that it gives you complete freedom to react to nuclear threats as you wish with the disadvantage that to be effective against all threats it has to be large and diverse and therefore costly
      The advantages of 2 is that you do not need to have nuclear weapons and take no responsiablity for their deployment and yet benefit from their protection. The disadvantage is that it relies on your geopolitical strategy remaining 100% in line with that of your protector at all times and that applies in both ways…you must be sure that what you deem your critical interests will be protected by your benefactor but also that you can live with whatever your benefactor decided is his critical interests….e.g China may target you to protect its interests in the South China Sea from another of your benefactors protectees despite it being of no strategic interest to you. It was for this reason in fact that France withdrew from NATO…De Gaulle wanted the option to negotiate separately with the USSR if it successfully invaded West Germany
      The 3rd combine the advantages of the first two with their disadvantages reduced but never eliminated

      Most countries who feel they need nuclear deterrance chose the 2nd option…its the easiest cheapest and they’re strategic horizons are limited either through choice or history. UK could choose that option also…but as one of the most powerful countries on earth and one that is still a pre-eminent symbol of western democracy we are a target whether we like it or not. And the possibility exists no matter how remote that we are or could be targets for people the United States could have no intention or will to protect us from. Therefore we have taken imho the prudent choice to retain our Independant Nuclear Deterrent as well as profiting from the protection of the United States adn NATO

      1. Mike says:

        The very simple concept of deterrence that you’re failing to promote means you have nukes in order to deter nuke attack from others or you don’t.
        If you don’t then according to your logic you cannot deter nuclear attack.
        Yet you promote the same idea the UK and US Government promotes that there can only be a selective nuclear club allowed in the world thereby depriving other nations of their own Nuclear “deterrents” which according to your argument and excuses for having nukes in the first place makes them wide open to nuclear threat and attack and therefore legitimate candidates for Nuclear proliferation.

        You can only try to argue your position if the whole world has its own nuclear deterrent and thereby ending the risk of nuclear first strike anywhere from anybody at anybody.

        How can you convince anybody to accept the nuclear umbrella of the US or UK if they feel the threat to them comes from the US or UK? Who is to say that the threat of first strike wont come from the US or UK? Certainly not you.

        So why would you promote the idea of allowing potential first strike nations the power of nuclear weapon ownership? Is there a Nation on earth with nukes that doesn’t have first strike potential?

        You of course see and understand the problem and the logic but will continue to deny it because you already know nuclear weapons are not for deterrent purposes but for use as a potential first strike threat and intimidation on the world stage.

        Its fascism despotism and criminal and you do nothing but support and promote it because you’re as corrupt and the concepts you pretend to believe in.

  18. Mike says:

    Anybody who supports the concept of anybody having a Nuclear weapon capacity supports the concept of giving nuclear weapons to Nations capable of first strike potential.

    For each nation which is forced to unilaterally disarm from within is one nation less capable of first strike potential in the world.

    There is no getting away from that.

    1. dunderheid says:

      And there is no getting away from the fact that if every country unilaterally disarmed except lets say Russia, Israel or North Korea the chances of a first strike from those countries would have exponentially increased

      1. Mike says:

        Says who? Why are they more likely to use nuclear weapons than the US or UK?

      2. Mike says:

        Russia Israel and North Korea have all had nuclear weapons for decades and haven’t used them. That is your criteria for telling us all they are not likely to use them ever.

  19. Douglas says:

    Make love, not war….

  20. TorryJoe says:

    Why do they need to renew Trident? Will the new one kill more people than the old one? Why not move it out, polish it up and save a bob??

  21. Mike says:

    Dunderheid

    The possession of nuclear weapons does not deter others from possessing them and in fact as history has shown it has done the opposite…what is does deter very effectively given the last 60 years is their use and for me that is more important

    You need to face the reality that nuclear weapons exist and that they cannot unexist no matter how much you wish it so. Some states will always possess them and some of those states may be led by people who if they could use them against others without consequence would do so without compunction. So you have a choice…you either live in that world and make the hard uncomfortable decisions it imposes, or you retreat into impotent idealism and let others do it for you

    You deliberately avoided the question I asked and instead posted the above meaningless drivel.

    So here it is again.

    Can you guarantee that the selective and it is selective allowance of nuclear proliferation will only be advanced within nations forever incapable or unwilling to first strike?

    I already know the answer is No you cant and therefore your entire support for “SELECTIVE” nuclear proliferation is immoral unjust and frankly insane. You’re entire day on here has been nothing but ludicrous dishonest and pathetic.

  22. Gary says:

    On the break up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine suddenly became the world’s third largest nuclear power with up to 5,000 nuclear weapons. I wonder if Putin would have dared to take Crimea or fight a proxy war in eastern Ukraine if the Ukrainians had held on to even a fraction of this force. Probably not.

    1. Mike says:

      Having a WMD threat didn’t save Iraq now did it? In fact we were told it was invaded specifically because it had WMDs! Seems if the “wrong” country acquires WMDs then its an automatic candidate for invasion and conquest.

      So you tell me which lie are we supposed to believe the most? Which one has priority?

      Get WMDs without our permission and we will invade. Use them and we will retaliate.
      Get WMDs without our permission and your safe from invasion and first strike by us.

      Are you getting the jist of your utter lunacy yet?

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