It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

British Gov to recommend keeping nuclear capacity until at least 2050

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 11:24 AM
link   
Well there we are, it's official.

The PM today publicly revealed the agreed Cabinet position and therefore the official British Gov position in the nuclear debate and stated it's recommendation to Parliament that the UK keep it's nuclear weapons force (ie a numerically reduced but updated Trident with new subs) until at least 2050.


Tony Blair has told MPs it would be "unwise and dangerous" for the UK to give up its nuclear weapons.
The prime minister outlined plans to spend up to £20bn on a new generation of submarines for Trident missiles.

He said submarine numbers may be cut from four to three, while the number of nuclear warheads will be cut by 20%.

Mr Blair said although the Cold War had ended the UK needed nuclear weapons as no-one could be sure another nuclear threat would not emerge in the future.

He said the options of changing to a land-based, or air-based nuclear weapons system had been considered and ruled out.

news.bbc.co.uk...

The opposition made predictable statements.

The LibDems looked for a fence to sit on saying the decision didn't need to be taken for at least 6yrs (that time being rather handily - for them - long after the next general election).

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said proper consideration of all relevant factors could only be made, if the decision was postponed until 2014.

news.bbc.co.uk...

Meanwhile Dave Cameron tried to look all serious and full of 'gravitas' and substance as he claimed to be

agreed with Mr Blair's position "on substance and on timing".

news.bbc.co.uk...

- Perhaps being informed that the heart of the explosion of an H-Bomb was something alike the sun appealed to his liking to "let sunshine win the day"?




posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 01:09 PM
link   
This is nothing other than was to be expected.

I agree with Sir M. Campbell. I don't see why we need more than 100 nuclear warheads (how many targets would we ever need to use them on?), and our country can pave the way for multilateral disarmament. The moeny saved could be used to diversify our defence strategies, to get more troops to help keep the peace in troubled areas or to ensure our current troops are better equiped.

Our country needs to show other countries why they shouldn't develop nuclear armaments through actions. Rather than demanding them not to and using sanctions if the merely copy us.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 02:36 PM
link   
I think this Gov has an excellent record here, Britain has been giving a visible international lead in getting rid of nuclear weapons for some time.

This Gov has already made significant reductions in the number of British nuclear warheads (and nuclear bombs generally, when the RAF free-fall weapons are taken into account).

This confirms my expectation (and desire) that they will continue to make further reductions.

Personally I think we should retain a reduced nuclear capability - and above all that we should invest ie spend whatever it takes to ensure it is wholly independent (I am far from convinced that it is, see this article for further details).

This would probably amount to a nice software and satellite program to ensure the British missiles are wholly at Britain's beck and call alone and not in any way dependent on a US say so, ever.

If we're to have these damnable things then we should have them exactly as we're supposed to have them, we paid for a British arrangement (sharing costs and helping make them more affordable to the USA - at umteen billion £'s cost to us, thank you Mrs T) and for it to be 100% independent (which I seriously doubt it is right now).

I just think the LibDem approach was begrudging and typically vague (they have a problem trying to be all things to all men) and I wasn't impressed at their making point over numbers (which IMO was intended to ignore the progress to date or imply little significant progress to date.....which is totally untrue) when the direction towards further reductions is explicit in this announcement anyway.

Cameron in his usual posture of appearing 'nice' and 'upbeat' and unable to find a 'bandwagon' to leap upon simply had nothing to say on this matter.
He'll have other tory front-benchers, er, 'question' civil nuclear power but he'll never try and exploit that anti-nuclear sentiment by going against 'the British bomb'.

BTW this is totally in keeping with the polls and focus groups who are all apparantly giving Cameron good numbers when he is positive and light but reckoning that the instant he tries to go 'serious' he loses heavily to Gordon Brown....expect to see more of this trait in future.

Substance-free politics is here for awhile yet whether he can actually win with this tactic is debatable but IMO sooner or later he has to start being specific and committing to policy.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 05:42 PM
link   
I have to say I'm quite happy with the result. Yes, in an ideal world we wouldn't need nuclear weapons but sadly we don't live in an ideal world.

Is the deterrent truly independent? I suppose the answer is yes and no. But it's difficult to foresee a circumstance where the UK would be forced to use it's nuclear weapons and the United States remained totally unaffected by whatever event forced the UK to act in such a manner.

It has always been the case that the United Kingdom have purchased the actual missiles from the US - we did have a missile development programme in the 1950s (called Blue Streak) but cancelled it when it turned out we could probably get hold of American-made missiles which would be of a better quality and cheaper too.

The submarines and the warheads are designed and made in the UK, though obviously there will have to have been some sort of US involvement (not necessarily direct) in their design so that the missiles will fit into the submarines and the warheads will fit into the missiles.

I suspect that, these days, we could build a truly independent nuclear missile system such as the one France has managed to retain (since a lot of British research went into developing the initial atomic bombs and the subsequent US nuclear weapons programmes, so the expertise is certainly there) but it'd be far more expensive and time consuming. If it isn't 'independent' at the moment then I suspect that the new system will be more independent since it'll use the same Trident missiles and we know we already have the capability of constructing a submarine with the means of carrying and launching them. No need for US help this time. And also, the ultimate decision as to whether the Trident missiles should be launched rests solely on the Prime Minister's shoulders - in an emergency (which is really the only time the UK could really use the weapons without extreme consequences against Britain - say, if someone had launched a nuclear weapon at the United Kingdom or had somehow managed to be in a position to invade), would he or she even have time to consult the Americans? I don't think so.

I think the concessions that Blair gave (the 20% reduction and the potential for constructing only three new submarines instead of four) were sort of hollow... if things start getting dangerous, it wouldn't take much for the labs at Aldermason to start making some more warheads. Assuming the UK keeps the same number of Trident missiles, it means that there is potential for up to 512 warheads (16 missiles per submarine, 8 warheads per missile, 4 submarines [16*8=128 128*4=512]). If the submarine fleet is reduced to three, then it'd be up to 384 warheads in total. However, I must point out that these totals are based on the current Vanguard submarines - the newer versions might carry more missiles (hence why the possibility of the number of subs being reduced to three has been raised). It wouldn't take a great deal of work to design some small nuclear bombs designed to fit current aircraft if the need arised, either. So in essence, it's a very flexible system.

Still, I'd be surprised if this one didn't get through as I think many Labour MPs will support it, as will many Conservative MPs.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 11:38 PM
link   


US diplomat calls for Iran action

A senior US diplomat has hit out at Iran and called on members of the UN Security Council to agree on economic sanctions against Tehran.
At a summit in Brussels, Nicholas Burns called Iran "the major disruptive, negative force in the Middle East".

The five permanent Security Council members plus Germany are to meet on Tuesday to discuss a sanctions package.

The council recommended sanctions after Iran failed to comply with a deadline for refusing to end uranium enrichment.

...

Speaking to reporters at the meeting of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Mr Burns, an under secretary of state, criticised Iran over more than its nuclear programme.

...

"What does Iran stand for? Iran stands for disrupting states, disrupting peace and solving everything through the barrel of a gun."
Source


I'm sure it seems to Tehran that the western world solves it's problems 'through the barrel of a gun'. Five of the six countries imposing sanctions on Iran have nuclear weapon arsenals. I don't see how we can dictate to other countries that they can't develop their own nuclear deterants, it is complete hypocrisy. I heard this somewhere, I can't remember where: all we showed Iran and NK when we invaded Iraq was that if you haven't actually got WMD you'll be invaded and deposed.


Originally posted by Ste2652
I have to say I'm quite happy with the result. Yes, in an ideal world we wouldn't need nuclear weapons but sadly we don't live in an ideal world.


We'll never live in an ideal world unless we have idealistic goals. Although this can be construed as a naive position to hold, I don't see any other way to reach an ideal world.


Originally posted by Ste2652
And also, the ultimate decision as to whether the Trident missiles should be launched rests solely on the Prime Minister's shoulders - in an emergency (which is really the only time the UK could really use the weapons without extreme consequences against Britain - say, if someone had launched a nuclear weapon at the United Kingdom or had somehow managed to be in a position to invade), would he or she even have time to consult the Americans? I don't think so.


If someone launched a nuclear weapon at us, which would ultimately target the general population, what would be the point in then targetting the general population of the aggressive country. If a force was in a position to invade us then wouldn't there be other weapons available to prevent them attacking us? I understand that your examples were to show how we may need to use nuclear weapons independently, I am just pointing out that they don't seem to be good reasons for using nuclear weapons. I'm struggling but I can't think of a situation where blowing alot of stuff up and spreading alot of radiation can help our country.



He put the cost of the new system at between £15bn and £20bn. But there would also be running costs of more than £1.5bn a year, raising the total cost to more than £65bn over 30 years.Source


Although I can see the value in having nuclear weapons as a deterrant, I think the cost far outweighs this one positive effect of our nuclear weapons systems. Although the cost in the first year would only be roughly 3.5% of the countries budget, reducing to less than 0.2% for running costs, I think the money could be better used elsewhere.



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 12:07 AM
link   
At least by having nuclear weapons we can negotiate them away. But at least under gfad’s “standby nuclear power idea” politics.abovetopsecret.com... there would be no need to invest billons in an expensive knew nuclear missile. And I like that.
After all this is what this Trident debate is about (not whether Britain should have nuclear weapons) but how high-tech the delivery system we might use should be.

Personally I believe we are overlooking other cheaper options like nuclear tipped cruise missiles. These can have range up to 2500 and 3500 kilometres hypertextbook.com...
I particularly like the fact that shorter range one can be carried on aircraft. This of course is more flexible particularly as you can put aircraft on aircraft carriers (which seem to move at submarine speed anyways).

Why I'm Anti Nuclear Submarine…
The reality is as following…
1. Nuclear submarines are best used for a first strike attack. This is because they are underwater and therefore can avoid must of the damage caused by a counter attack.
2. Our Trident missiles can carry multiple warheads. This means they can be used to destroy more than one target-city at one time. Is this capability really necessary in today’s world?
3. Nuclear submarines (and weapons production) causes a great deal of nuclear waste.

So would you rather a nuclear reactor providing relatively clean energy to a hundred thousand homes; or the same reactor pushing water out of a submarines backside? Because both create nuclear waste; but one can deal with the very real threat of climate change and the other can’t.

This (in my mind) is a death nail for nuclear submarines. I hate them anyway as they are nuclear hazard which demands to be attacked (if your fighting us).
Because of this I’ve always thought they’re invention was quite irresponsible and despite needing them during the Cold War (to maintain the arms balance of power); today they seem somewhat outdated.
Also…
Though the reasons against them remain the same the scenario of a conventional attack on a nuclear submarine seems increasingly likely given the proliferation of conventional missile technology (something that’s seems to be spreading faster than we are currently developing means to counteract it) and our long lasting habit of frequently putting nuclear submarines in trouble spots (often for “gesture politics”).

I know the Lefties would hate me but I would much rather a nuclear armed air force that can be deployed on aircraft carrier (something which basically involves taking out the explosive and adding a nuclear warhead to a conventional missile), than a stupid nuclear powered submarine.

Scenario: The most likely in favour of an independent deterrent is that terrorists supplied by rogue states will use ether biological or (less likely?) nuclear weapons against our capital. If this happens we may want to hit the rogue state responsible back (and hard). If a President Carter- Clinton 2 is in the White House is in charge he may want to “explore other options” instead.
But millions of British people (possibly 1 in 20 of the population) have just died and you know what they about anger following grief.

What do we have to do? Wait several weeks for our wretched submarine to change course. By this time there will be liberals saying “turn the other cheek”, school kids will be walking out of lessons (probably both in protest and preparation for the next attack).
Oh and the Sky News helicopter will probably have followed the submarine out to watch the “ceremonial launch”; only to have got in the way.

Seriously aircraft do this job in way less than 24 hours.
Then it goes down in history “Britain got WMD; Britain WMD back less than a day latter”. Then we pro-British historians can use the excuse “if only we had more time we would never have used nuclear weapons; which maybe-possibly prevented the next biological-nuclear attack”. And who can argue with that?

Conclusion: (To Previous)
What Tony Blair is doing isn’t just a waist of money; it’s political cowardness (something I think has mostly characterised his career accept on Iraq). You might think its “brave” of him to press the “Renewal Button” but it’s my opinion there would be far more of a political storm if he decided to do the right thing with a more functional upgrade (as it would mean switching from submarines to aircraft). Even so it would: reduce nuclear waste (maybe even for other things like electricity instead), maintain the deterrent (so that it can be reduced in line with other countries), and save money; and arguably be a more flexible-pragmatic option for the coming times we are facing anyway.

Tony is so yellow he can’t even push through his renewal without ending a 5th of our weapons. And what country was this reduction in agreement with?

Could it be the “People’s Democratic Republic of New Labour”?
I thought he had the support of the “Dear Cameron”. Why do we need to end a 5th of our nuclear weapons just now?
But frankly this talk “of Britain setting an example” is in my opinion stupid leftist talk; unless it is the context of other countries giving up their nuclear weapons.

The Upgraded Unilateral Disarmament Threat…
Otherwise this talk is just a sort upgraded “unilateral disarmament argument”. This argument was clearly a danger to national security in the past; and though its impossible to prove; given how evil the leaders of the Soviet Union actually were (even to the point of personally permitting the most horrible military experiments on good willed political prisoners) I think there would be precious little stopping them invading a nuclear disarmed western world (which remember is what these people wanted). Hay we could be all red or dead.
But (like before) this upgraded unilateral disarmament argument also a key component of reality. Iran and the other nations aren’t developing nuclear weapons so much because we have nuclear weapons. But because we have large conventional policies, and policies against them. Whether indeed ether these large conventional armies or hostile polices is justified is matter between us, our governments, and people and them. But make no mistake its because of what can happen to Iraq (where we haven’t used a nuclear weapon) that these countries are developing nuclear weapons



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 01:21 AM
link   
byhiniur

I'm sure it seems to Tehran that the western world solves it's problems 'through the barrel of a gun'.

The Romans solved problems at the end of an arrow, the Victorians at the end of gun, the West with a missile. Every successful humane civilisation there ever was has solved its problems at the end of some sort of weapon. After all isn’t that how power and diplomacy works? The weapons are one ingredient, saying “now tell me if I don’t use the weapons…” is the diplomacy.
Why what millennium do you think we’re in, The year Thirty Thousand or something? Is there some other futuristic way you have to share with us?


Five of the six countries imposing sanctions on Iran have nuclear weapon arsenals.


It’s called “diplomatic pressure” (and will be diplomatic so long as weapons aren’t used).


I don't see how we can dictate to other countries that they can't develop their own nuclear deterants, it is complete hypocrisy.


If it wasn’t hypocrisy it would be too late; wouldn’t it?


I heard this somewhere, I can't remember where: all we showed Iran and NK when we invaded Iraq was that if you haven't actually got WMD you'll be invaded and deposed.


I share that opinion with you entirely. But it dictates that Iran is quite logical to want develop nuclear weapons and we are quite logical to want to stop them. It’s one of those “ether you agree with me or you don’t” pieces of logic.


We'll never live in an ideal world unless we have idealistic goals.

Actually we’ll probably loose control of the world and be dominated by it (non democratic states) if we are idealistic.
What we need is realistic goals with pragmatic thinking behind them; there’s a big difference between creativity and idealism. Idealism is always the excuse for why nice ideas failed; but pragmatic or creative thinking is always the reason for why ideas have succeeded. This is a general but pretty rock solid fact (demonstrated by everyday by equally broad and general accounts of history).


If someone launched a nuclear weapon at us, which would ultimately target the general population, what would be the point in then targetting the general population of the aggressive country.


1. Revenge (it might be popular if most of London has just been killed).
2. To weaken the enemies war machine
3. Prove-have the existence of MAD (which though it sounds mad actually prevented a war the size of world war two, with the Soviet Union; possibly on more than occasion)
4. A combination of all the above (as well as any number of other factors) (like the general principles of Survival).


If a force was in a position to invade us then wouldn't there be other weapons available to prevent them attacking us?

Yes, but fortunately (although very unfortunately when it comes to the matter of getting rid of nuclear weapons) nobody has ever developed a weapon more powerful than the atomic bomb. Therefore it would be very easy for a rogue nation to outdo the do even the collective power of the West if nobody else had nuclear weapons. This of course would never happen; or at least it seems extremely unlikely we would be stupid-(idealistic) enough to let it happen.
There are a lot of conventional weapons you can blow out of the sky with an atomic weapon (electromagnetic pulse for instance extends way out of the bombs radius and can drains electricity even from batteries).
en.wikipedia.org...
www.abovetopsecret.com...


I'm struggling but I can't think of a situation where blowing alot of stuff up and spreading alot of radiation can help our country.

Will my 4 above reasons sufficient?


Although I can see the value in having nuclear weapons as a deterrant, I think the cost far outweighs this one positive effect of our nuclear weapons systems.


Wonder whether you like my alternative approach-idea(s) to Trident!!! But yeah in my eyes its money badly spent if it goes into submarine; particularly given the high level nuclear waste produced by them. It’s the waste which I think is unjustified most.

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 06:34 AM
link   
An aircraft fleet to deliver Britain's nuclear retaliatory force would be incontestably more vulnerable than a submarine force and undoubtedly more expensive when compared like for like.
(we had that once in the 'V Force' and that was why we moved away from that circumstance).

That vulnerability would be both on the ground and in the air.......where on earth did you come up with the idea that a complete brand new air delivery system and the necessary attendant infrastructures would cost us less?

It's also worth mentioning that only a tiny handful of countries can even contemplate trying to counter a submarine force - or are likely to be able to during the life-time of this proposed force - never mind actually effectively attempt to counter one.

The world and his wife can put up various layers of anti-aircraft defence (and the technically advanced countries that might one day threaten us would be leagues ahead of places like Iraq......and whatever unusual circumstances may or may not have been germane to the case even the Serbs managed to down a stealth plane).

.....and which strategic-ranged bomber aircraft is going to do this job (cos right now the UK does not have a single strategic nuclear bomber)?
Which strategic bomber design is supposed to guarantee (to the same almost 100% level as a ballistic missile) a successful attack and remain survivable for 30yrs or more like a submarine would?

How many of these planes do you imagine we are to supposed operate to ensure a survivability and effective delivery level equivalent to the alternative SLBM force?

How much for the supporting infrastructure (are we supposed to go back to having huge numbers of dispersal bases all over the UK again .....and just where are these, almost all now long gone, bases supposed to appear from, huh)?

Are we to try to get the US to reopen production so we can buy the aging B2 - assuming they would even sell that level of technology to us, the lowly F35 indicates it's not so easy nevermind something like a B2 strategic nuclear bomber......that's one hell of an assumption you've chosen to make there.

.......or would you say a small run of a brand new, up-to-date and even more grotesquely expensive plane design would be more appropriate (have you any idea how long that would take?).......and if so would the UK have to go it alone to ensure we actually got full 'sovereignty' over what was needed?

Your notion that "lefties" would 'love' a submarine based intercontinental nuclear missile system over an air delivered system is frankly rather amusing if somewhat confusing.....you sure have some unusual political perceptions at work there.

I suppose you'd rank Reagan, Bush Mk1 & Bush mk2 as this 'yellow', 'lefty' or ultra 'liberal' type?
Cos they all either made or continued with very significant large-scale strategic arms reduction treaties with the Russians.
This is the background to the UK reducing and proposing continuing reductions to it's strategic nuclear arms.
It has nothing to do with frankly tragically risible notions of the UK having a "yellow" PM.


Sadly and yet again lib you have treated us to a grossly superficial and typically verbose appraisal of the situation and some of the possible alternatives with all the awkward facts simply ignored or skimmed over........and of course you can't help using this as a vehicle to throw in your regular political views = anti-Labour/anti-Blair digs
(to go off-topic as per about your favourite hobby-horse, Iraq).

It's up to you lib but I'd suggest that instead of trying to shoe-horn this subject into an out-dated right/left ideological scenario and announcing these rather silly (not to say staggeringly pompous) 'policies' you just discuss and debate.
It's quite clear you have obvious holes in your understanding of this subject and you might even learn something......even if your opinions remain unchanged generally.


You're also dreadfully ill-informed about the submarine's role; strategic nuclear missile equipped submarines have - since their inception - always fundamentally been a counter-strike system, they are not "best used for a first strike attack".
It's their unique degree of survivability that ensures they remain intact to retaliate in the event of a devastating nuclear attack on the UK.

It's true to say that as submarine missile accuracy has (recently) improved (particularly with the advent of Trident D5) some have claimed they may in future act as a first strike weapon but the truth remains, the primary feature of a submarine is it's ability to hide; submarines came into being utterly as a second-strike (counter-strike) weapon - and particularly in the case of Britain's relatively very small force they so obviously remain so.

.....and it seems it's clearly news to you that some people have anti-missile defences now (and this is likely to spread as it becomes more affordable).
MIRV warheads are extremely necessary and even critical in this regard; it means they carry several 'low yield' warheads to attack target(s) rather than only a few very large ones per missile = greater effectiveness against defended targets.
(although the UK has long chosen not to carry the full possible compliment of missile warheads)
'Star wars' may be some way off but it may come by 2030 - 2040 in a handful of countries.
It's also worth remembering that 'MAD' doesn't work if the opposition don't believe your retaliatory abilities are effective.
The Trident system has an extremely long range - the idea that the submarines might have to travel some way to get near to the target over hours/days/weeks is most amusing - and it's warhead delivery 'bus' or 'system' also carries various decoys and counter-counter measures to ensure a successful attack.

However unlikely it is also quite true to say that Trident does have a degree of flexibility and might not carry a full compliment of missiles with nuclear equipped warheads; it's perfectly feasible that a conventional non-nuclear precision strike could be carried out against an otherwise heavily defended target using one or two Trident missiles that might be conventionally armed, if the British Gov were to choose this option.
It remains unknown if Trident submarines go to sea with all missiles nuclear armed or not - and it's that kind of uncertainty which is the point at the heart of this 'deterrence concept' between nations
(bringing 'terrorism' into this matter is a wholly inappropriate red-herring IMO, this is a separate issue).

The truth is that by choosing not to take what superficially appears to be the cheapest (but most vulnerable) option the British Gov took not only the right decision but, IMO, the only decision any responsible Gov could take.

I suspect that whilst many people are against nuclear weapons completely in principle (a totally worthy and principled stand to take in this debate and one I have great sympathy with myself) I reckon the majority of the public take the view that if other technologically advanced countries have them then so should we......and we should have the best and most capable, survivable, long-lived and cost-effective system available.
Which aircraft (on their own and when all costs are considered) most certainly are not.

.....and btw once again it's clear that you could do with a few facts on how the British Parliamentary process actually works.
This was the decision of the British Cabinet, the British Gov's decided proposal to Parliament, that has now been made public.
It was not the PM's decision alone.
The actual final decision will be taken by the British Parliament in a vote in due course.

The British Gov is not showing 'political cowardice' (or any similar such ludicrously alleged trait) it is taking it's most serious responsibilities very seriously and putting the interests of the British people first.
Quite rightly.

Real political cowardice in this would be to simply lie to the British public and make absurd claims that there were enormous savings to be made by ditching submarines (and the existing supporting infrastructure) and moving to a completely new and undetermined strategic aircraft delivery system, with all that entailed.
....and then compound this ridiculous lie by wasting a fortune on this far less durable and survivable system and then having the bare-faced cheek to pretend to the British people that this 2nd rate system (with it's inherent reduced effectiveness) had not effected the UK's protection!?

If we are to retain these damned things (strategic nuclear weapons) then the least we should do is buy and maintain the most durable, secure and capable system.
Particularly in the eyes of those that might one day decide to threaten us and our interests.

It's the security of a submarine based force that 'justifies' them the most
(as every other '1st world' technically advanced country that wants and can afford a nuclear delivery system has long recognised and actually bought, for decades).


[edit on 7-12-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 08:13 AM
link   

Originally posted by Liberal1984
At least by having nuclear weapons we can negotiate them away. But at least under gfad’s “standby nuclear power idea” politics.abovetopsecret.com... there would be no need to invest billons in an expensive knew nuclear missile.


If we don't have the nuclear weapons available at the touch of a button then there are even fewer reasons in having any nuclear capabilities.


Originally posted by Liberal1984
The Romans solved problems at the end of an arrow, the Victorians at the end of gun, the West with a missile. Every successful humane civilisation there ever was has solved its problems at the end of some sort of weapon. After all isn’t that how power and diplomacy works? The weapons are one ingredient, saying “now tell me if I don’t use the weapons…” is the diplomacy.
Why what millennium do you think we’re in, The year Thirty Thousand or something? Is there some other futuristic way you have to share with us?


No humane civilisation has solved it's problems with violence. I'm guessing that's a typo then...


Originally posted by Liberal1984
It’s called “diplomatic pressure” (and will be diplomatic so long as weapons aren’t used).


I threaten to beat up someone with my baseball bat unless they do what I want. They do it, so I don't use force, is that diplomatic. No, it's blackmail. And if the person then tried to pick up a baseball bat as well, and five of my mates come round and tell him that if he does he'll be battered, then I think the individual would feel aggrevied at the hypocrisy of our arguments.

We need to set examples through action rather than dictating action.


Originally posted by Liberal1984
If it wasn’t hypocrisy it would be too late; wouldn’t it?


So you agree. It isn't too late to show the rest of the world that we all need to disarm and throw away our nuclear armaments, but it is hypocritical to demand that no other country develops them.


Originally posted by Liberal1984

We'll never live in an ideal world unless we have idealistic goals.

Actually we’ll probably loose control of the world and be dominated by it (non democratic states) if we are idealistic.
What we need is realistic goals with pragmatic thinking behind them; there’s a big difference between creativity and idealism. Idealism is always the excuse for why nice ideas failed; but pragmatic or creative thinking is always the reason for why ideas have succeeded. This is a general but pretty rock solid fact (demonstrated by everyday by equally broad and general accounts of history).


Some quick points on this: Throughout history there has continually been war, so pragmatism isn't all good. The modern day fixation with results is absurdly misguided in my humble opinion. I think we need idealistic goals with pragmatic soltions to achieving them. Idealism isn't an excuse, the only viable excuse against it I've seen is 'human nature' but we could at least try. Just because we aim to have an idealistic society doesn't mean we should ignore security, aiming for an ideal world is abouting improving everything, not just our own patch of land.


Originally posted by Liberal1984

I'm struggling but I can't think of a situation where blowing alot of stuff up and spreading alot of radiation can help our country.

Will my 4 above reasons sufficient? -
1. Revenge (it might be popular if most of London has just been killed).
2. To weaken the enemies war machine
3. Prove-have the existence of MAD (which though it sounds mad actually prevented a war the size of world war two, with the Soviet Union; possibly on more than occasion)
4. A combination of all the above (as well as any number of other factors) (like the general principles of Survival).


I only see 3 points, but anyways:
1. To misquote Ghandi, if everyone took an eye for an eye the whole world would be blind. Just because revenge would be popular doesn't make it right. Who would this revenge be directed against? Not the leaders of the aggresors army because all a nuke could do would be to cause more indiscriminate killing.
2. We have many other ways of doing this without using nuclear waeapons.
3. This reminds me of this report. We shouldn't have a nuclear detterant if it can then be used as an 'attacking' weapon.
4. How can the prinicple of survival (?!?) be justified to bomb aload of innocent civilians of a foriegn country? How is that going to ensure our survival.



Originally posted by Liberal1984

If a force was in a position to invade us then wouldn't there be other weapons available to prevent them attacking us?

Yes...

Thats all you needed to say,(
) but you carried on...



Originally posted by Liberal1984
...but fortunately (although very unfortunately when it comes to the matter of getting rid of nuclear weapons) nobody has ever developed a weapon more powerful than the atomic bomb. Therefore it would be very easy for a rogue nation to outdo the do even the collective power of the West if nobody else had nuclear weapons. This of course would never happen; or at least it seems extremely unlikely we would be stupid-(idealistic) enough to let it happen.
There are a lot of conventional weapons you can blow out of the sky with an atomic weapon (electromagnetic pulse for instance extends way out of the bombs radius and can drains electricity even from batteries).


EMP's can be created independently of a nuclear strike. Couldn't the money be used to develop something to prevent nuclear bombs hitting our or any country rather than having aload of nuclear bombs ourselves. This would remove the risk of any country having nuclear weapons as long as we provided everyone with protection.

An idea I had.



I mean, we've got planes, we've got nets, it's a case of 2 + 2 = world safety. Do I get the £25 billion instead
.



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 05:06 PM
link   

Originally posted by Liberal1984
What do we have to do? Wait several weeks for our wretched submarine to change course.


Well, no, not really. The Trident missiles have a range of 12,000km which means they can hit Buenos Aires from London (Buenos Aires is apparently 11,136km from London). And the liklihood of you finding a Trident submarine in London is pretty slim
More likely they're in the open waters somewhere, much closer to nations which the UK Government considers potential threats.

So they basically can hit anywhere on the planet because they're mobile and have an extremely long range. What are the other benefits?

As Sminkey pointed out, they're primarily a second strike weapon. They deter the enemy because a submarine can hide pretty much anywhere in the oceans of the globe (which cover approximately two thirds of the world), so they're damn hard to find... assuming you have the technology and a good enough navy/airforce to look for them in the first place. If they can't find the submarine before attacking the UK, then there's every risk that a nuclear response will reach them.

The missiles themselves fly at supersonic speeds, making them very hard to shoot down. Compare this to a plane or a cruise missile, which is far more vulnerable.

The cost issue is not actually the missiles themselves - they cost about £15million each (this is an approximate figure - various military websites give different costs but there aren't any huge discrepancies I've come across). The costs of the warheads is classified I think - at least I've never managed to find any figures. What costs the most is the submarines themselves - but these are built in Britain, securing thousands of jobs in the design, construction and maintainance of these vessels. So some of that money is regained through taxes.

So really, the submarine-based system is the ideal system for a nation such as the United Kingdom. It gives effectively limitless range, a credible deterrent that's difficult to detect and also difficult to destroy either before or after launch. It costs, yes, but I would be careful about which sets of figures I'd trust.



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 07:59 PM
link   
Yes I admit it; I was trying to point out the general “Labour = Anti Good” theme of my argument.
I hate having to agree with Labour (especially over a defensive issue); given the dipterous evil they have aided and continue to aid over in Iraq.
So when I heard they wanted to renew trident “I thought God-this is a tricky one; I know a nuclear air force… doesn’t sound so bad; I mean at least you don’t have to put it in submarines.” Subsequently a missile for submarines (like Trident) is the wrong one; even though a nuclear missile renew is the right option. Brilliant


The truth is though that Blair’s 20% reduction in the size of our nuclear arsenal does not appear to be in line with the nuclear disbarment process of any other nations.
It is however line with some of the “left” on Labours backbenchers who would like to see Britain’s nuclear arsenal total something between almost none, and none at all.

Also a nuclear air force, does not require nuclear powered submarines english.peopledaily.com.cn...
Britain’s nuclear-powered submarines will also need replacement and although it is possible to opt for fossil fuels (namely diesel); this will impose serious military limitations due to the need to both carry and refuel.
This why I guess a nuclear powered air force would be better; as for Sminkeypinky’s point about Britain not having any aircraft carriers; my point is that firstly the Americans do have them; and it is not worth making the effort to construct a nuclear entirely capable of operating without them; and even if it was it would be a case of building one or more aircraft carriers.

Therefore it is perfectly possible to put nuclear warheads on aircraft. And as we already have the missiles, the aircraft and the warheads, it would probably be cheaper than tridents 25 possibly 75 billion pound cost?
And if it’s cheaper enough we may even get an aircraft carrier or two out of it (given they cost a few billion pounds). Furthermore aircraft carriers do serve a wide variety of conventional purposes; arguably much more than submarines.

So for the time being I stick by the idea that nuclear aircraft would be better because…
1. I hate nuclear-powered submarines
2. Wonder about the greatness of fossil fuel powered ones
3. And dislike this missile system cost (especially if we really could get one or two aircraft carriers out of the same or similar amount of money, spent on my approach.
4. Agree that we should a nuclear deterrent; but aren’t that worried about acting independently of America just yet.

However I suppose it’s not a greatly bad thing we’ll be having nuclear submarines. It’s just annoying to me if we are dependant on something which creates its own nuclear waste to carry our nuclear deterrent (which as the enemy says “God willing” will hopefully never have to be used).

Ste2652 Thanks for pointing that range point out (I overlooked it).

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 08:50 PM
link   
Please forgive me for butting in, even though I am "from the west". We here in the colonies are sometime butish and ingnorent, but we mean well. Everything said here may be true and exact, but let me say this - "Dead is Dead and it really doesn't matter how you got there." What difference does it make between one nuclear weapon and one hundred nuclear weapons. We're all just as dead, and the environment is just as screwed. With that said, I would rather live in a world without the threat of any kind of violence nuclear or other. However, we don't live in that kind of world. So the ability of weapons to kill and destroy keep on getting more powerful. It's a great big ole world out ther boys and girls and not everyone out there wants to play nice. Therefore, we should defend ourselves not only with common sense and forethought, but also with enough muscle to at least meat the potenial of a common threat. My motto, walk softly and carry a really big stick. Well there it is, my two cents.

HH



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 09:26 PM
link   
I completely agree with your view on this subjects thread. But was extremely intrigued with your answer…
1. Which colony are you from?
2. Who is your colonies master?
3. What are the reasons for you being a colony?
4. If you are a colony, and don’t like being colony then who is stopping you from not being one? Is it…
A. The Democratic will of your people?
B. The brute power of your master?
C. Some other influence(s)?

If it’s (overall) the brute power of your master; then I sincerely wish you well with your struggle for independence. Unless of course the people (as is the case with certain religious fundamentalist populations) wish to impose their own beliefs on us or others (through force), or wish for a government that will unduly harm the West through the principle(s) of force. Well hope it turns out I wish you independence.



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 09:30 PM
link   
Maybe the most fundamental problem with your argument works out something like this…

If I was the Ayatollah of Iran I would let the rest of the world get rid of its nuclear weapons; retain mine, and use them. I wouldn’t care less if millions of people died under my name; because (if the headquarters of the U.N and certain other countries parliaments) I would be of a select few who have headed towards domination.

Being idealistic you might not to believe people like me exist; but I assure you we do; in fact there are plenty.


If we don't have the nuclear weapons available at the touch of a button then there are even fewer reasons in having any nuclear capabilities.


Ok; so why is us having nuclear weapons a reason for having them. Wouldn’t we be heading towards infinity as the number in our stock pile at that rate? (I don’t make that argument). I make the argument that having them is the only reason why you don’t need them, but if you don’t have them then you need the support of a nuclear power; otherwise (as Iraq sadly shows) you’re available invasion, or at least it’s a lot more possible.


No humane civilisation has solved it's problems with violence.


No!! Nearly every civilisation there ever was has solved its problems with violence!!” You can even solve violence with violence (as the defeat of e.g. the Nazis shows). It’s true that no human civilisation has ever solved violence; but that’s surely because violence is a possibility which exists in the same way as gravity, truth or the laws of physics exists.


I threaten to beat up someone with my baseball bat unless they do what I want. They do it, so I don't use force, is that diplomatic. No, it's blackmail.


Maybe but on the international stage it can still prevent-solve a war without firing a single shot. I think that’s why it’s often called “diplomacy” but I don’t mind what words we use.


And if the person then tried to pick up a baseball bat as well, and five of my mates come round and tell him that if he does he'll be battered, then I think the individual would feel aggrevied at the hypocrisy of our arguments.


And that person right now is Iran. That is why if Iran doesn’t do what we want i.e. leave Middle Eastern politics to Israel and us, as well remain nuclear free; it may well receive a battering. Now you may be against that, and believe that we the West are being unreasonable. But the logic to the brutality is sound is that is why it is being used now; and has been for thousands of years. Perhaps even down to Monkey times as there’s a certain type of ape which has war. Why? Because (morals aside) like the laws of physics it makes he who uses it more powerful over others, and a greater protector of themselves.


We need to set examples through action rather than dictating action.


You’ll be stronger if you do both. And like I said there are always people who don’t follow examples; bad people sometimes (like if I were the Ayatollah of Iran analogy)


EMP's can be created independently of a nuclear strike. Couldn't the money be used to develop something to prevent nuclear bombs hitting our or any country rather than having aload of nuclear bombs ourselves. This would remove the risk of any country having nuclear weapons as long as we provided everyone with protection.


If you can invent that you’ll change the argument. But frankly they’ll probably always be a way of conducting war, and always a way of developing nuclear weapons, and bypassing systems to guard against them (the laws of physics as great they are, provide so many ways).


Who would this revenge be directed against? Not the leaders of the aggresors army because all a nuke could do would be to cause more indiscriminate killing.


But it’s got nothing to do with justice; just achieving a reality we’re your enemy is weakened enough so that it can’t weaken no more.


We have many other ways of doing this without using nuclear waeapons.


And like nuclear weapons they’re horrid, but unlike nuclear weapons they’re no defence against them (especially when cost and construction time is taken into account).


How can the prinicple of survival (?!?) be justified to bomb aload of innocent civilians of a foriegn country? How is that going to ensure our survival.


Again war and survival is not a moral court case; never was and never has been. A counter nuclear attack will deprive the enemy of men and woman that could be used to form the military or the economy that backs the military. Obviously politically revenge comes into it because people have been killed; but that’s also quite independent of ethics (quite like the whole concept of revenge generally).


We shouldn't have a nuclear detterant if it can then be used as an 'attacking' weapon.

That’s an interesting proposal; how do intend to come up with something with the defending properties of a nuke; but not the attacking ones?

Get your invention patented; and I might support it instead of nukes.
Till then (for the reasons given) we need them; or least the very least someone who will protect us in the event we attacked with them; obviously needs them.



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 09:52 PM
link   
Liberal1984

Text

Was just my feeble attempt at humor. I wanted my good friends in U.K. to know I am not a complete butt, so I tried to defuse with some witty banter.

HH


[edit on 12/24/2006 by hammerhead1791]



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 09:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by Liberal1984
So for the time being I stick by the idea that nuclear aircraft would be better because…
1. I hate nuclear-powered submarines
2. Wonder about the greatness of fossil fuel powered ones
3. And dislike this missile system cost (especially if we really could get one or two aircraft carriers out of the same or similar amount of money, spent on my approach.
4. Agree that we should a nuclear deterrent; but aren’t that worried about acting independently of America just yet.

However I suppose it’s not a greatly bad thing we’ll be having nuclear submarines. It’s just annoying to me if we are dependant on something which creates its own nuclear waste to carry our nuclear deterrent (which as the enemy says “God willing” will hopefully never have to be used).

Ste2652 Thanks for pointing that range point out (I overlooked it).

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]

Liberal, firstly can I ask:
Why do you hate nuclear submarines? Is it a dislike of the navy or fear of enclosed spaces or?

To answer your second point, fossil fuel or "Diesel electric" subs are generally more quiet, but lack the range of a nuclear sub . Hence why they're generally used in shore defence (Ie german and finnish navies)

Thirdly, having 14 aircraft carrier doesnt make a lick of difference if you have no big guns to back you up, do you think the PLAN would be frightened of 20 RN ships if we had no nukes? Hell not they'd probably drop a tac nuke on the battle group and call it quits, we already have 3 carriers, not including invicible which is parked less than 50 miles up the road from me. And we already have another 2 on the way.

Lastly about nuclear waste, would you rather have several B2's on the ground in our "massive" amount of oversea bases, or would you rather have a silent, untraceble foe that can strike anywhere and at any time.



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join