Trident point

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Graham Dunstan Martin believes it makes sense to spend £100 billion on a weapon – Trident – that we cannot ever use (Letters, 22 November). I don’t get that.

He also says that when “One has weapons that one can’t use, this is called peace”. I can’t make sense of that either and wonder as we look around the world as it is today and its relatively recent history, where that peace is and which wars nuclear weapons have prevented.

Not the Korean War, the extended conflicts in the Balkans, the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, subsequent war and the more recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the war in Syria. The fact is that the existence of nuclear weapons failed to prevent any of these wars.

Mr Dunstan Martin also speaks disparagingly about “pacifists”, but fails to grasp the difference between an honourable pacifist and other people who merely think that if states must have wars, whether illegal or not, they should be fought between armies with the least possible collateral damage to the civilian population.

Trident cannot discriminate and would obliterate millions of innocent citizens.

Mr Dunstan Martin uses an unfortunate choice of the kind of conflict which nuclear weapons will help to prevent when he cites the imperialist ambitions of President Putin.

Perhaps he failed to notice that the presence of nuclear weapons had precisely zero effect on Russia when it annexed Crimea.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh