Monday, December 04, 2006

Better to have and not need, than need and not have

Tony Blair’s commitment to retaining nuclear weapons is probably the best decision he has made in the… well, in a very long time. The problem with the argument made by the majority of critics is that their opposition to the replacement of Trident focuses far too much on the short term. Whilst a need for a British nuclear deterrent may not be immediately apparent, the same may not be true in 20, 30 or 50 years. Liam Fox hit the nail on the head:

"We don't know what we will face [in 2025]. One thing we know is that you can't suddenly conjure up a nuclear deterrent if you require it."

With rising threats in the Far East, not to mention the potential for nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, it is more important than ever than we retain a nuclear force.

My only concern with Tony Blair’s current position is his indication that a reduction in the number of submarines is being considered, along with a 20% reduction in the number of warheads. Let’s hope these statements are there simply to placate critics, and that they will never be acted on.

As for the ruling-out of a transfer to a land-based nuclear weapons system, Tony Blair should again be commended. The whole point of a purely submarine based system is that our enemies remain constantly in the dark as to where our nuclear weapons are; thus reminding them that a nuclear attack on the UK, even the utter destruction of the UK, will not prevent an immediate and overwhelming retaliation.

As for Ming the Meaningless’ position on the Trident debate, I believe it’s a case of the less said the better.

Put simply, nuclear weapons are very much like the military generally. It is better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them.

3 comments:

Cllr Green said...

Quite right....I'm rather happy with Cameron at the moment for this...

Felix said...

Shane I think that you are absolutely right. I don't see what good would come out of dismantling your nuclear arsenal. That just means that you are more dependent on the United States and other countries to serve as your deterrent. It is dangerous because the U.S. cares prinicipally about the U.S. If the world goes through the hell of a nuclear war, the U.S. will worry about protecting itself, not the U.K.

Tory in the Wilderness said...

Thanks for the comments.

I agree completely agree with you Felix.