TRIDENT BILLIONS

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Mike Sales
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Mar 2020, 2:31pm

Another thing to consider about the "independent" nuclear deterrent that we pay so much money for, is that it is not independent at all. We could not use it without US say-so. We are, in effect, a forward base for America. Airstrip 1 as Orwell put it.
Any US president, and especially a "America First" president like the present incumbent, will consult American interests first in making any decision about the British bomb, and our interests some way after.

Oldjohnw
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Mar 2020, 5:01pm

My hope is that after all of this the world will be a gentler, kinder place.
John

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100%JR
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby 100%JR » 25 Mar 2020, 5:13pm

Oldjohnw wrote:My hope is that after all of this the world will be a gentler, kinder place.

After this everything will return to "normal".
People will soon forget how places like Wetherspoons and Sports direct(and others) have behaved and will just quietly slip back into a routine.
1000s of us will book the first available flights to where ever and once the Pubs reopen I would think that violence in town/city centres will go off scale for a couple of weeks.
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Ben@Forest
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Ben@Forest » 26 Mar 2020, 9:13am

100%JR wrote:After this everything will return to "normal".People will soon forget how places like Wetherspoons and Sports direct(and others) have behaved...


We don't yet know what the long-term consequences will be yet and whether the focus on saving lives, with livelihoods a distinct second, will end up being criticised.

If there ends up being comparitively few deaths in this country, especially of those who were not at 'end of life' anyway (according to medical authorities two thirds of deaths so far have been people who were at 'end of life') then in five years time the government will instead be being criticised for not allowing more business or trade being done during this period, especially if figures show that the lack of trade has caused 20,000 to have increased or developed mental health problems and an extra 1,000 suicides.

There's no easy answer, but as much as there are critics of what the government hasn't done to date there will be critics of what it did do.

pete75
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby pete75 » 26 Mar 2020, 1:04pm

Ben@Forest wrote:
dodger wrote:Regardless of whether you think the COVID virus was deliberately manufactured or an accident, how useful do you think the £50 Billion Trident programme has been in preventing a modern"invasion"....


You just don't know. Having a nuclear deterrent may or may not have prevented Soviet expansionism. Having that defence wasn't just for us, the nuclear umbrella provided by the USA, UK and France was one all NATO countries and frankly most Western countries and other democracies and indeed dictatorships were happy to sit under.

Let's face it the Soviet Union was happy to interfere in other countries' politics throughout the Cold War (of course the USA and to a lesser extent Britain, France and China did too) so what makes it impossible they would have interfered militarily in a western Europe with no nuclear weapons?

And do you trust Russia now? Since 1991 it has been involved in various wars with its neighbours, is supporting wars in Ukraine and Syria and, most worryingly, Putin has stated he will support Russian speaking peoples anywhere; all of the Baltic states have Russian speaking minorities, which is why Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are strong supporters of NATO.

If you're happy to say you implicitly trust Russia now and in the future, then l concede you can confidently argue your opinion about Trident. If not...


We're in NATO. It's the US deterrent which deters Russia just as it's the Russian deterrent which deters Russia. All we are doing is providing the Americans at no cost to themselves. We haven't got an independent nuclear deterrent. It's designed and supplied by the USA and can't be used without their permission.

In Estonia and Latvia people of Russian origin are treated as second class. They don't have full citizenship or voting rights in many cases. It's likely that if they didn't have a nearby and powerful nation looking after their interests this treatment would be worse.

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Mick F
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Mick F » 26 Mar 2020, 10:01pm

Mike Sales wrote:Another thing to consider about the "independent" nuclear deterrent ................ is that it is not independent at all. We could not use it without US say-so.
Not true.
Mick F. Cornwall

Mike Sales
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Mike Sales » 27 Mar 2020, 11:30am

Mick F wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Another thing to consider about the "independent" nuclear deterrent ................ is that it is not independent at all. We could not use it without US say-so.
Not true.



Without the cooperation of the US, says the report of the independent all-party Trident Commission, the life expectancy of the UK's nuclear capability could be measured in months.
The commission's high level panel says it agrees that Britain's deterrent is "a hostage to American goodwill".
"If the United States were to withdraw their cooperation completely, the UK nuclear capability would probably have a life expectancy measured in months rather than years".


Not only are Britain's Trident missiles in a common pool shared with the US and maintained in Kings Bay, Georgia, its nuclear warheads are designed and maintained at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston with the help of US know-how, as recently declassified documents on the UK-US Mutual Defence Agreement confirmed.
Tuesday's report noted: "The UK is dependent on the United States for many component parts of the guidance and re-entry vehicle, and for the Trident ballistic missile system itself".


A commission co-chaired by the former Labour defence secretary, Lord Des Browne, the former Tory defence and foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and the former LibDem leader and shadow foreign secretary, Sir Menzies Campbell, was never going to come up with radical proposals on this issue.



I cannot see that the USA would continue supplying "our" deterrent if we were to use it in a way which was against US interests.

Oldjohnw
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Oldjohnw » 30 Mar 2020, 2:21am

Billions on weapons which would kill thousands or pounds on masks and tests which would save thousands.

And which did they choose?
John

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Cugel
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Cugel » 30 Mar 2020, 1:20pm

Oldjohnw wrote:Billions on weapons which would kill thousands or pounds on masks and tests which would save thousands.

And which did they choose?


The billions on the weapons of mass destruction might nevertheless be worth it if they really did continue to make MAD work. But there seems to be a growing pressure to cast aside the assumption that "we" will be destroyed for an assumption that "we" can do that sneak early attack and not suffer a similar response. Of course, this is nonsense, as the weather system wafts the filthy stuff back 'round the planet anyway, to do for us all, including the perpetrator. Not to mention a big dose of nuclear winter.

Then there's the nutters in the US, Israel, Pakistan and gawd knows where else that have varieties of "end-of-days" notions, which they feel it their duty to help along. These are sometimes religious (US variety) and sometimes just a pathological suicide urge (N Korea). But one way or another, there are some itchy button-fingers about these days.

We could save thousands (millions or billions) of people by spending arms money on lifesavers of various sorts. However, we then invite a Malthusian end instead of a nuclear one. That could be worse. Certainly greatly prolonged with oodles of misery and suffering for all.

Cugel, practicing my new pessimism.

Mike Sales
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Re: TRIDENT BILLIONS

Postby Mike Sales » 30 Mar 2020, 1:32pm

That Trident is a waste of money is an opinion widely shared in the defence establishment.

Britain's nuclear submarines are "completely useless" against modern warfare, and the £20bn spent on renewing them is a waste of money, retired senior military officers said yesterday.
The former head of the armed forces Field Marshal Lord Bramall, backed by two senior generals, argued that the huge sums being spent on replacing the delapidated submarines that carry the Trident ballistic missiles could be better used to buy conventional weapons which are badly needed by the armed forces.
"Nuclear weapons have shown themselves to be completely useless as a deterrent to the threats and scale of violence we currently face or are likely to face, particularly international terrorism," the group said in a letter to the Times. "Our independent deterrent has become ­virtually irrelevant, except in the context of domestic politics."


https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/jan/16/trident-is-20bn-waste-say-generals