Nuclear debate

Share this article
0
Have your say

May I remind Douglas Turner (Letters, 23 January) that earlier polls indicated a majority of Scots in favour of retaining 
Trident and were accused of bias by opponents.

The SNP over the past year or so has run a vigorous
anti-Trident campaign. Is Mr Turner so naive as to think that this one-sided barrage had no 
effect on the poll he quotes ? I will stick with “not proven”.

As for accusing me of minimising the conflicts he previously referred to, of showing no empathy for the victims of such and of being in acceptance of wars “somewhere else” so long as they don’t involve me, I neither said nor implied such things. I merely agreed with Douglas Gibb (Letters, 20 January) that these had not spread as they might have done in a non-nuclear 
scenario.

Indeed, over the last 60-odd years, no serious disputes bet­ween protagonists both in poss­ession of nuclear weapons have resulted in armed conflict – a unique fact of world history which Saddam Hussein, apparently unappreciative of the power of modern military intelligence, tried to exploit by pretending that he had nuclear weapons. I would guess that the Iraq invasion took place in the full and certain knowledge that he had no such capability.

I am sure I am not alone in being nervous about entrusting the defence of my country to those who would seek the shelter of a defence alliance whilst publicly condemning its methodology and even seeking to deprive it of some of its capability.

Dr A McCormick

Kirkland Road

Dumfries

I agree wholeheartedly with Douglas Turner’s general point (Letters, 23 January) that the world would be a better place without nuclear weapons. I fail to see, however, why he thinks that nuclear weapons should act as a deterrent to all wars.

Mr Turner rightly states that “wars happen in defiance of the existence of nuclear weapons”.

But what of conventional weapons which are capable of, perhaps not mass, but certainly massive destruction?

I wonder if Mr Turner supports, for example, the building of warships on the Clyde.

Applying Mr Turner’s logic, should we not object to the building of these on the grounds that “wars happen in defiance of the existence” of such potentially destructive weapons?

Possessing nuclear weapons cannot be expected to prevent war in general. The role of nuc­lear weapons is, paradoxically, to deter nuclear war.

In December Mikhail Gorbachev stated most alarmingly that he feared the possibility of a nuclear war as a result of the Ukraine conflict.

Would the likelihood of such a catastrophe be increased or decreased if Britain disposed of its nuclear capability? And what of the threat from a rogue state such as North Korea?

Sadly, I believe the only way forward is to retain a nuclear 
capability but at the same time to endeavour to engage the other nuclear powers in a drive towards overall nuclear disarmament.

A pious hope possibly – but the alternative does not inspire confidence.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh

Back to the top of the page