Trident rethink

The 2006 Labour government decision to proceed with the upgraded Trident system was fundamentally biased and flawed, as it assumed the need to maintain a capability equivalent to the existing (overly-capable) Trident fleet (your reports).

Given the magnitude of cuts now proposed for our conventional forces, it is only right that this extravagant decision is now revisited, in a way that realistically takes account of our place in the new world order, and the availability of cheaper and more affordable solutions to Britain's deterrent needs.

As part of this, the set-piece line from the Ministry of Defence and defence industry that there is no viable or cheaper alternative to Trident needs to be independently reviewed and challenged, as it seems to owe as much to entrenched thinking and self-interest as hard fact.

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Any use of our nuclear arsenal against a major power (no matter how justified) would be a near suicidal act for our small nation and there are strong arguments in the current financial squeeze for us to scale back our costly nuclear deterrent to a bare minimum. The option of carrying our nuclear weapons as torpedo tube-launched cruise missiles onboard our eight-strong general purpose submarine fleet then becomes a simple and effective proposition.

This would save us a fortune and show the world that we are serious about reducing our nuclear arsenal, whilst still give us a basic deterrent capability.

As with every other aspect of our defence, we need to start relying more on allies for collective nuclear security, if for no better reason than to avoid bankrupting ourselves.


Pont Crescent

Dunblane, Perthshire

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