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UK Nuclear Deterrent - To Scrap or Not to Scrap?

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posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 10:18 AM
The Liberal Democrats have stated in their election manifesto that they will scrap the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent system, saying that the world has moved on from the Cold War and such a renewal is far too expensive at around £100 billion.

So does the UK still need it's nuclear weapons?

Even if we keep our nuclear weapons and we ended up using them in some dire circumstances against another nuclear power, we would end up being destroyed in return anyway.

Okay so it could be argued that no country would try to invade or attack the British Isles conventionally while we still have nuclear weapons as we would always have the option to retalitate with overwhelming force. Then again which country is going to bother trying to invade us these days? Okay we never know what may happen in the future, but the idea of having nuclear weapons is just for prestige and to be a member of the nuclear club.

Before someone mentions Iran or North Korea, even if they were insane enough to use nuclear weapons, they would invite their own destruction and personally I think the USA rather than the UK would be their primary target.

If we got rid of our nuclear arsenal or even if we decreased it then it would be a step forward in reducing and ultimately trying to attain the goal of a nuclear free world. We would also be the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to do so, as all five members also have nuclear arms.

South Africa is the only country in the world to have voluntarily abolished their nuclear arsenal, which they did so in 1989, so there is already a precedent for such a move.

So is it worth spending £100 billion on nuclear weapons?

Are nuclear weapons still needed in this day and age?

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 10:57 AM
With scalar EM weaponry, nukes and conventional arms are pretty much obsolete. Kind of like bringing a knife to a battleship duel.

I say don't bother with the nukes. Why do we need to fight eachother anyway?

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 11:22 AM
We should never get rid of our independant nuclear capability as long as other countries retain their's.

Time's have indeed changed, but the threat still remains.

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 11:23 AM
Get rid of the nukes, maybe that will save enough money for the politicians to give a reprieve on gutting the rest of the British military.

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 11:26 AM
It is the type of Nukes that interest me... do we need the Trident style or cruise missile style..

Trident II is a deterent, and all about power projection.. It is accurate with a variable payload and with the Mk4 arming fuse able to take out a D5 hardened nuke bunker. Making it pretty much a hard point nuke (in my opinion getting around all the treaties meant to place a hold on nuke developement)

Wihch brings me to the problem of nuke developement, AWE is the place where the US manage to get away with their Nuke devleopement program avoiding oversight of anyone and we do the same in the US.. so given that, what types of nukes do the UK and US really have at their disposal.

Off that back of that one is the main developements appears to be the warhead test simulators that are said to be so accuarate that new warheads needs no real life testing.. so who knows what we have tested and developed within those types of simulators.

All in all the UKs nuke policy (as well as the US one) is so tied together I am unsure how we would untangle the mess..

So what is a seemingly easy question next gen nukes YES/NO is really a complex question given the UKs standing in developing the bloody things..

Personally I really don't feel we need anything other than a few cruise based nukes, and certainly don't feel we need the next gen stuff...

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 11:34 AM
Its about tough choices, would we rather have a nuclear deterrent or an army kitted out with the best kit that protects them in the modern war theatres they are now operating in. Unfortunately we cant afford both. Don't we still have US nukes in the UK? so we are pretty much defended anyway. I cant see anyone starting a nuclear war with the UK and no one defending us.

If we have 200 nukes then we can take out every large city in the world. Whats the point in that? The day we ever have to use a nuke is basically armageddon, so I just don't see the point. I'm sure someone can convince me to why it is so important.

[edit on 16-4-2010 by woodwardjnr]

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by woodwardjnr

I think the difference is between the independent capability side that Freeborn mentions and the bloody expensive Next gen stuff...

My choice goes to the middle ground a few cruise based nukes we can carry on ships, planes and subs.. versatile and cheap (compared the £bn in next gen stuff)

[edit on 16/4/10 by thoughtsfull]

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 11:43 AM

Originally posted by woodwardjnr
Dont we still have US nukes in the UK? so we are pretty much defended anyway. I cant see anyone starting a nuclear war with the UK and no one defending.

I don't like the thought of having to rely on anyone else in a fight and let's face it, the septics ain't been in any great rush to help us out in the past have they?

I'm sure Freeborn can convince me

You have greater faith in my powers of debate and reasoning than I,

We have lived with the knowledge of and the ability to commit MAD for 60 odd years now, we can cope with it and the shear presence of nuclear weapons has prevented any major confrontations between the strongest countries in the world for them 60 odd years.

That scenario has not changed, and nor will it for the foreseeable future.

Do we need to upgrade our nuclear weaponry....I'm no expert but I don't think so.

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 01:24 PM

Originally posted by Freeborn
We should never get rid of our independant nuclear capability as long as other countries retain their's.

By that logic then we will all have our nukes forever and all current non nuke countries need to get them quick to defend themselves against the same therate we current nuke countries are facing.

Originally posted by Freeborn
Time's have indeed changed, but the threat still remains.

There is NO threat from nukes save that imagined in the minds of the paranoid. The biggest threat we face is from the religious lunatics who are beyond reason and don't give a damn what you have in your arsenal.

Wait until a fanatic gets a nuke (which is far easier the more nukes there are) and they will use it.

posted on Apr, 16 2010 @ 01:55 PM
wow i can’t believe this... A discussion about Britain Nuclear deterrent and so far it’s been a good intelligent and polite discussion

I pretty much agree with most of what’s been said... times have changed, the biggest threat comes from terrorists and if they hit us who would we fire our missiles at? Iran? N Korea? Libya? Just spin the globe, stop it with our finger, and fire at whatever poor country our finger is on??

Due to this, i find it hard to justify updating our weapons... especially when our boys on the ground struggle to get replacement boots!!

S+F - good topic

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:28 PM
Just watched the election debate and noticed Nick Clegg getting brought down by Brown and Cameron when mentioning the Trident Nuclear Arsenal and getting rid of it.

I certainly won't be voting Lib Dem now if thats what he will do. I think that reducing the programme will leave the UK exposed, without nukes you cannot be called a 'superpower'.

As for having US nukes in the country I wouldnt bet on the Americans coming to our aid if anyone was to launch an attack against us. Britain is the US lapdog which does as its told, i doubt they would return the favour.

Also a disarmament would weaken ties to the UN, eventually resulting in the expulsion of the UK. Not a wise move.....

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:35 PM
reply to post by KingDoey

You think actually having nuclear weapons makes us a superpower?

We are not a superpower and having nuclear weapons doesn't make us one.

Also why on earth would it weaken ties to the UN and end up with our expulsion? So we get rid of Trident and suddenly the UN decides to kick us out.....why?

Or do you mean specifically the P5 of the UN Security Council, which still doesn't make a difference.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:45 PM
reply to post by Kram09

"A superpower is a state with a leading position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests."

So hows does the UK not fall into that category? Maybe if you take the collective view that Europe is the superpower, however that still includes the UK.

I accept your point about the UN, yes it could potentially remove our permanant membership of the Security Council. This would then prevent us from vetoing any possible proposals and thus lose influence, so how can that be a good thing??

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:48 PM
It would suck to commit to a massive overhaul on the nuclear arsenal just as breakthroughs are being made on worldwide nuclear disarmament.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:55 PM
reply to post by KingDoey

I agree with that definition of a superpower and by that particular definition yes Britain would be a superpower.

However when I think of superpower, I think of the United States.

I still don't understand why you think the UN would revoke our membership as a permanent member of the UN Securtiy Council.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:00 PM
Its more important for me to send americans out of europe why are they here.

He is right no one will use nukes to blow up an entire country, in the real world. Americans have changed there policy. They are justa deterent.

But why are americans still defending europe?

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:05 PM
reply to post by Kram09

There is nothing Super about America!!!

The P5 is notorious as being the 'nuclear club', no nukes means no entry to the club.

Although instant expulsion as a permanant member would not be instant, the influence of the UK over the other big 4 would be significantly reduced. China, Russia, France and particularly the US pride themsleves on having devastating Nuclear capabilities, why would they want to 'hang around' with (in their eyes) a puny country like the UK?

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:15 PM
We should NEVER get rid of our nuclear deterrent.

This would weaken our country and our ability to respond if the worst happened.

The whole concept of having nuclear weapons is to enable you to make moves politically / militarily without having to use them. It's the ultimate in final say so and an option that should always be on the table regardless of how forbidden it may be to actually use them.

Without our nuclear capability we would become the first target hit, in a major global conflict. They could hit us but we could not respond.

Its the you hit us and you get flattened also that prevents wars!!

Peace out,

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:29 PM
It's interesting to note that the British PM can only authorise the use of nuclear weapons, he can't order the Navy to launch an attack on any nation. That final decision lies with the submarine commander.

By all accounts, he's got the following orders in the safe, to be opened if the UK is reduced to a pile of irradiated dirt.

1. To identify the nation responsible and take them out
2. To sail to the USA, if it still exists
3. To sail to Australia and place the submarine under R.A.N. control
4. To exercise 100% discretion ... and do whatever he likes

If he chooses option 1 ... he doesn't need Trident. He can do the job quite adequately and reduce most Western Russian cities to ash with a dozen nuclear armed cruise missiles ... there's no time limit required, he doesn't have to strike within 30 minutes, he can do it at his leisure a week or a month later if he chooses.

And who's to say he won't choose option 4 ? Because by then, UK has been destroyed, deterrence has failed ... so what's the point adding to the misery by using it at all ?

In which case, why bother with a British nuclear deterrence ?

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:50 PM

Originally posted by Ulala

And who's to say he won't choose option 4 ? Because by then, UK has been destroyed, deterrence has failed ... so what's the point adding to the misery by using it at all ?

In which case, why bother with a British nuclear deterrence ?

It is exactly because of your point 4 that we need Trident.

Without trident there is no guarantee of a retaliatory strike. decommission the subs and we are wide open and loose serious ground in international regard.

Going into a fight with ethics as a munition is a sure fire way of loosing.

Peace Out,


[edit on 22-4-2010 by Korg Trinity]

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