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JeffVader's avatar

Does the UK need to retain it's nuclear deterrent? & if so, in what form should that deterrent be?

Asked by JeffVader (5416points) April 23rd, 2010

Last night on the second election debate the parties basically said the following…..
Labour want a like for like replacement to Trident.
Conservative want a like for like replacement for Trident.
Liberal Democrats want to hold a review to determine what type of nuclear deterrent the UK needs, but the assumption is its not a like for like replacement for Trident.

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9 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

There’s probably no real reason to upgrade from the Trident, but the UK should maintain an independent nuclear deterrant force. As the US totters towards bankruptcy, its nuclear “umbrella” will almost certainly shrink. Charles DeGaulle had the right idea about not depending on alliances for a nations ultimate defence. The UK doesn’t need a large deterrant force, just enough so that any potential attacker will know that something will be thrown back at them. The submarine-based Trident system is effective for its purpose as long as several submarines are at sea at any given time.

martyjacobs's avatar

It does seem ludicrous to spend so much on nuclear deterrants when our troops overseas lack the equipment they need, and the Army is heading into financial meltdown.

The reality is we probably need a deterrant of some kind, but if nuclear missles do start flying, then it won’t really help and will have been a complete waste of money.

It is also high hypocritical of us as a nation to tell another country they can’t hold nuclear weapons when we do.

In short, I’m not sure, but I think Nick Clegg has the right approach given the current economic environment.

JeffVader's avatar

@martyjacobs I’m inclined to agree…. I think we should have some sort of deterrent, perhaps tactical rather than strategic. I cant see any benefit of spending obscene amounts of money on another bunch of ICBM’s.

mattbrowne's avatar

It doesn’t. Same as Germany. Partnering with the US is deterrent enough. An attack on one NATO country is an attack on all NATO countries.

JeffVader's avatar

@mattbrowne So long as the US remains a reliable ally…

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

!00 years ago, the UK was the biggest bully on the block, now the US is…but for how long? It costs obscene sums of money to be a superpower; American taxpayers aren’t likely to support this much longer. Even if the electorate supported it, where is the money going to come from; so much of what is spent on military hardware is borrowed money. Once the world wakes up to the fact that the US national debt is unlikely ever to be repaid (other than by hyperinflation), the money source will rapidly dry up. A bankrupt US will likely withdraw from international defense treaties, return to isolationism and the military will be reduced to defending US territory only. Basically turning the calender back to 1930.

JeffVader's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Well said, & given how much of that debt is owned by China….

mattbrowne's avatar

@JeffVader – Good point. If Sarah Palin becomes President the alliance might be in danger.

martyjacobs's avatar

Let’s just hope Barack Obama is sincere when he says he wants to do something about the threat nuclear weapons present. His recent meeting with the Russians seems to suggest he is keen to take positive action on this issue.

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