Not for the first time, Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 5 July) has got his statistics in a twist when he says a minority of Scots do not want to replace Trident and presumably he counts himself among that number.
My understanding is that recent polls have indicated around 80 per cent of people living in Scotland would like to be rid of it.
It cannot be denied that Trident is capable of wreaking a terrible revenge on any state which might attack us – a highly unlikely event if Scotland were independent, but will the submarine which has unleashed the holocaust have a Faslane to harbour it?
Mr Gray likes to posit the fallacious premise that Trident will keep us safe, even when faced with significant evidence that an independent Scotland, free of Trident and removed from the orbit of the UK’s litany of disastrous foreign neo-imperial adventures, will be less susceptible to attacks of any kind, including terrorism and nuclear attack.
Mr Gray also has an unfortunate tendency to sneer at organisations such as the CND and the SNP, as if being supporters of them was somehow something to be ashamed of, but unlike those of us who support independence, he never nails his own political colours to his UK mast.
Also, in his letter, he chooses to make no mention of the fact that all the political parties in Scotland, with the possible exceptions of the Conservatives, Ukip and the BNP, have committed in their manifestos to removing Trident.
Andrew Gray makes the mistake of confusing defence with armed forces.
Defence is about threat analysis, detection and solution. Armed forces are a small part of that.
In the 21st century, leaving aside the natural threats of floods and earthquakes etc, the main type of threat has been non-state terrorism: 9/11, 5/5 and the Glasgow Airport bombing cannot be attributed completely to a single state.
States no longer need to be directly involved.
This means that conventional armed forces are of less significance and certainly Westminster’s plans for 80,000 troops are probably an overestimate.
In fact, the problem for the SNP is there is no way it needs five regiments to cover the historical names.
As for Trident, submarines are now vulnerable to magnetic anomaly detection and having only a single boat at sea which can be detected and destroyed negates the whole system. In addition, Trident can only be used against an identified state, which renders it useless against terrorism.
The real threats are fundamental terrorism and cyber attacks. Already commercial and foreign government-sourced cyber attacks are to be found trawling business and government online data storage.
Not just America but many countries are gathering commercial and strategic information from other nations. It is easy to escalate from that stage to one of actually modifying or destroying data held on targeted servers.
The SNP needs to develop a proper defence strategy based around threat analysis rather than shiny toys and misguided 20th-century principles.
Rather than type-23 frigates and lots of uniformed personnel, we need the computer nerds. Perhaps if the SNP wants to gain votes from regimental cap badges it should attach the Black Watch name to a “regiment” of computer analysts who can do just as much to protect Scotland as their forebears.
Bruce D Skivington
For quite some time now I have been begging someone to reveal to me who it is they fear will have an interest in attacking Scotland. So far, silence has been the response.
All these people burbling on about defence seem quite unable to indicate which nation Scotland must fear in the foreseeable future.
Mr Gray is obviously concerned about Scottish defence. Possibly he would care to reveal against whom we must defend. I would dearly love to know.
R Mill Irving
Gifford, East Lothian