No to Nato
It IS a mystery why the SNP is raising the question of joining Nato. From the political point of view, it is not an issue which is raised by the general public.
It is an expensive club to join and, with the fiscal situation being tight, it would be another item of significant expenditure.
Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria all manage without membership.
There is also the question of Scotland with a non-nuclear policy being accepted by Nato.
Joining it means accepting its rules, which means that the nuclear weapons umbrella has to be accepted by member countries since nuclear-armed ships and aircraft have to have access to members’ military facilities.
Since it is Nato policy not to comment on the weapons carried, it would be impossible for the SNP to exclude nuclear armed assets.
In addition to Faslane and Coulport, Loch Ewe is already designated as a nuclear submarine and warship relief base with two Z nuclear submarine berths, refuelling at Aultbea and nuclear waste disposal at Mellon Charles.
Nato is now an alliance without an enemy and it depends heavily on US involvement.
With the change in world emphasis, the US is concentrating more of its forces on the Pacific rather than the Atlantic and it is only a matter of time before it starts to reduce its Nato involvement.
Scotland would be better concentrating its defence on Scottish security. The SNP might find that there is not public support for risking Scottish troops overseas. The SNP seems to be looking for issues to lose it the referendum.
Bruce D Skivington
Gairloch, Wester Ross
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
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