Letters: Scots will be safer without nuclear weapons

YOUR editorial on 8 April asks “Will the SNP embrace Nato?” You quote Professor Malcolm Chalmers who thinks that the existing SNP policy to withdraw from Nato with its ready-to-use nuclear weapons would be faced with hostile US opinion as though that should decide the issue.

He also says that neighbouring Nato countries would not like an independent Scotland to “free-ride” on their security protection. However, there is mounting evidence that the possession of nuclear weapons has resulted in more global insecurity since the end of the Cold War.

As a small nation we would be much more secure outside a nuclear-armed Nato that is trying to police the rest of the world. It is counterproductive as shown in Afghanistan as the recruiting sergeant of terrorists rather than defeating them. This has been successfully argued in the recent book Security Without Nuclear Weapons” by Commander Green (RN Retired) and General Sir Hugh Beach (Ret).

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Of course, only those retired from active service can speak out but there is great unease in the higher ranks that the politicians are under the delusion that we are a world power and must waste untold billions to renew Trident. Careful study shows an independent Scotland would have the opportunity to join the vast majority of nations who are more secure without nuclear weapons.

Ray Newton, Edinburgh

THE question of where Trident should go after independence impinges on the question of how weapons of mass destruction got to the Clyde in the first place. It was a consequence of the Nassau agreement of December 1962 between Kennedy and Macmillan. Britain was to provide facilities for a US nuclear submarine base in return for the right to purchase the Polaris weapons system.

The Clyde was handed to the Americans on a plate. Nobody in Scotland was asked. Mass protests on the grounds that the proposed nuclear base would be only 30 miles from the heart of our biggest city were repeatedly dismissed as “parochial” by a Westminster government determined to keep it well away from London and the south east. I have waited 50 years for the eviction of these nuclear monstrosities from my country. I have waited even longer for a Scottish government with the courage to send in the bailiffs.

Alan Clayton, Strachur, Argyll