Nuclear peace

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David Fiddimore (Letters, 20 November) asks what is the point of having an expensive weapon that we cannot use. Of course, that we cannot use it is precisely its point.

When one has weapons that one can’t use, this is called “peace”. And peace is what we want. It is mystifying why 
pacifists fail to understand this simple point.

Pacifists also tend to claim that there are no threats at present to our safety. Even if this were true, one must admit that future threats will certainly emerge.

It is, however, plainly untrue, as one can see from the behaviour of despots like Putin or the ayatollahs.

It must also be remembered that the deterrent is held by us as a member of Nato. We guarantee the safety of other members of the alliance.

And we need to do so as 
Putin’s imperialist threats against Georgia, Ukraine, Estonia and the other Baltic states plainly show.

History demonstrates that human collectives have always loved fighting and killing. We are at present experiencing by far the longest period of peace in the whole of European history.

This is not because we have suddenly evolved into perfect moral beings over the past 70 years. The recent peace of 
Europe is certainly due to the nuclear deterrent.

Mr Fiddimore complains that the deterrent is expensive. Yes, but it might be still more expensive not to have it!

Graham Dunstan Martin

Mayfield Terrace

Edinburgh