posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by stevegmu
To be fair, the British have never sat idly by & solely relied on the US nuclear umbrella for protection. Nor do they rely on US conventional weaponry
either, the UK makes a valuable contribution to NATO with their home grown weaponry.
And it's a two way street too, you know, The Guardian newspaper revealed yesterday that US nuclear weapons designers are currently relying on the
British nuclear weapons facility at Aldermaston for major research into the next generation of US warheads.
As early as 1945 the postwar Attlee government made the acquisition of the atomic bomb a major priority. And as it became apparent that improved
Soviet technologies from the mid 1950's onwards made North America more vulnerable to attack (and made the US less minded to expose their own
homeland to attack) so the British rushed ahead with their own nuclear weapons development, producing their own hydrogen bombs & making plans for
their own ballistic & cruise missiles.
If anything, British nuclear weapons development signals the belief of successive governments that, when the chips are down, the Americans would
sacrifice the UK to save their own skins. That's the blunt basics of it.
And by using American missiles to deliver British warheads, the fate of the USA is essentially in the hands of the British. Because to the Russian or
Chinese leadership it doesn't really matter whether the incoming Trident missile warheads are British or American, they're simply Trident .... they
won't have the time to determine the nation of origin. In that sense Nefermore's assessment is correct, Trident is indeed a wonderful bargaining
chip ... but to friend & foe alike.
Most of the expenditure for the British Trident fleet has been long since spent. But isn't a new ballistic missile deterrent simply a luxury item in
our armoury when so many parts of our armed forces are severely overstretched ?
Isn't simply being
nuclear sufficient deterrent in itself, for the British at least ?