May I answer the critics of my letter on Trident (23 January)? Never at any time did I suggest that “fundamentalist terrorist groups” had the wherewithal to launch an attack on the UK. I suggested the governments and regimes of already unstable countries with the capacity to do so could in the future be taken over by fanatics and thus tempted into attacks on the West.
I assumed my critics understood the basic premise of deterrence. The fact that any attack on this country would be instantly met by retaliation and obliteration of the attackers has been enough to ensure there is no “laying waste” and an unprecedented peace in Europe from major wars for close to 70 years.
Millions owe their lives to the nuclear deterrent. If it were ever used in anger then the policy would have failed. Is mutually assured destruction madness? Yes. But a madness that has brought relative peace and security.
Multilateral, total, worldwide disarmament is the only answer and we are looking probably many decades ahead for that.
What I find most disturbing is the Nationalist thinking on this. They complain at UK Army cuts, but only as it affects Scots. Who cares about Northern Irish, Welsh or English redundancies?
Poverty, crime, inequality, they are all fine as long as they are happening beneath some line drawn on a map, in Leicester not Linlithgow.
The inward-looking, navel-gazing, self-preoccupation of Nationalists is legendary – exactly the same as their views on defence and Trident.