Mutually insured

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Douglas Turner (Letters, 24 November) expresses the view held by many who subscribe to the CND view that nuclear weapons are a waste of money which could be spent far better elsewhere.

He states that nuclear weapons had no effect on the Korean war, the Balkan war and a number of others.

Of course, the wars to which he refers were often proxy wars, or ones against non-nuclear powers. This argument is disingenuous and is very much the sort used by those who do not wish to confront the real issues.

MAD (mutually assured destruction) is the basis of our holding nuclear weapons. The understanding of powers which own these terrifying weapons is that they are exactly that: terrifying.

The effects of a nuclear strike are of mass death and massive destruction to the infrastructure of the nation thus attacked.
What Mr Turner avoided mentioning, because it would have destroyed his case, is that the reason why Iran is so desperate to possess nuclear weapons is for self-protection.

It realises, even if CND and parties like the SNP do not, that it will never be attacked by the likes of the USA if the Americans know that they will be hit by Iran’s nukes in return.

That is why North Korea is inviolate. That is why we never attacked Russia and it, in turn, never attacked us.

Just as the sensible will have home insurance in case someone tries to break in and steal their valuables, the UK has nuclear weapons and that is why we – and western Europe – are still free.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh