Britain to get a nuclear weapons programme?

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AB Asks | 12:57 Thu 15th Mar 2007 | News
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Nuclear weapons. A constant talking point in Britain over the past 50 years. Now it seems we are destined to have a �20 billion plan to create a Trident missile programme. Politicians say that we need the deterrent in today's uncertain world. Add to this that the Tories back the plans and it seems that we are likely to go ahead with the programme. Do you think that nuclear weapons are the answer to keeping Britain safe? Can the government justify spending that sort of money on nuclear weapons?


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We already have a Trident missile programme AB Ed. It is nothing new, we have had it for 40 years. The debate is about replacing it because it is old.

This must be the worst AB asks question ever, thank goodness the feature is going.
wouldn't that �20b be best off spent doing something about the state of the rotting NHS?

why is bloomin nuclear weapons more important than healthcare? i could save them money, just send all our enemies to an NHS hospital for treatment.

MiniN, It's a quarter of the NHS budget for 1 year! Why do people come out with the stock line all the time "lets' spend it on the NHS" cobblers the NHS is vastly overfunded as it it halve the budget if you ask me and spend whats left it on medical things rather than an army of public sector pen pushers.

Nuclear weapons are the unlimate paradox, you need them so you won't need them! end of.
i mention the NHS, Losehead, because if you have had any personal dealings with them you too would be disgusted.

you'd probably think 'collateral damage' is ok too.
aren't your ideas slightly parodoxical too?

spend money on medicine Vs. cut the NHS budget by half

Yes Mini and you'd be surprised how often paradoxical thinking can work eg want to reduce the jail population? send more people to jail!.

Huge slabs of the NHS budget is is pi55ed away on admin, that's the point I'm making there are more clerks than nurses + Beds. You need a thin layer of management and 95% of it should be doing medical things where as at the moment half of the NHS exists just to justify it's existance. To be fair though my own very occasional experiences have been ok but I imagine being dependant on it in an inner city would be a different story.
No, I don't sense a lot of threat in this 'dangerous uncertain world' for UK if it already has nukes, as mouldy and rusty as they are.

If the politicians really want to improe security, the money could be better spent on ground security, ie- the police, to detect/prevent terrorist attacks in future, which is probably a bigger and present concern as nukes cannot stop these anyway.
having the trident missile system is like having an insurance policy,its useful to have but you hope you never need to use it.who knows what weapons iran is developing we need to be able to defend ourselves.
Iran is only on the brink, it's not even a nuclear power yet. The surrounding nuclear countries around Iran will make sure it never goes out of control... that's the point of having nuclear weapons, they serve as a Deterrence. Once you have them, you can rest assured no other country will attack you.
Anyway, UK is not really on any country's list, if Iran Were to attack ( which is highly unlikely) it would probably go for USA, which it sees as more of a threat after Iraq.

naff question .....

what do you see as UK's role in the world today?

what do you need to do to achieve that role?

has the �100 billion + spent to date on nuclear weapons (woomera development testing nuclear bombers polaris trident) been value for money?

remember UK can't even fire its weapons without american Ok ..... part of the firing process is done through a command centre in USA)

does UK need nuclear weapons to be taken seriously as a UN Security Council member? (one of the arguments put forward by advocates!)

..... oh yes, there seems to be a lack of body armour for soldiers .... thinly -armoured vehicles .... tanks that stall with sand in them .... and an embarassing gap between scrapping aircraft carriers and building the new ones ..... missing a replacement for the Nimrod (so no early warning) cannot afford to buy Eurofighters etc ....

has the era of MAD passed for all except the real superpowers ..... poodles don't need to have nuclear weapons .... their master theoretically protects them?
Do you get the impression that some politicians are punching above their weight and on an ego trip? This country has lost any influence it once had and carrying a big stick will certainly rebound on us if we threatened to use it. The sole purpose is to add our weight to the UN security council (band of 5) but when did we act independently from the US. Why don't we just save taxpayer's money and join the also rans?
So we want to have nuclear weapons because Iran may get them.

We would never use the weapons though America might.

We have already shown than we won't bother with the UN (Iraq war) so security council argument is nonsense.

Nuclear weapons are not a deterrent - did it stop Iraq invading Kuwait? Did it stop Argentina invading the Falklands? We had nuclear weapons then didn't we?

They are a completely hollow threat as no PM would ever dare to eradicate a country.

But still, lets waste �20 Billion pounds (plus ongoing costs) as (according to some) where ever we do put that money it would be wasted anyway!
Lector, can you back up your assertion that we need US permission to fire our weapons? Not having a dig just a mate and I were having this discussion and we suspected that might be the case but didn't actually know. Links etc would be helpful thanks.
Let stop ******* 80 billion a year away on the NHS and spend it on something useful eh Vic.

You CND mob always come up with the "someone once broke our window so why didn't we bulldoze their entire house" argument. The point is vic we need our own bulldozer so we can use it if someone decide to use there's.

A rogue state with nukes could ring up London and say we're comming to take over your country, by the way Manchester has just been nuked. Surrender now or it's London next . What are we gonna use? Harsh language?

Ask yourself this the whole Labour front bench where once in CND, yes even His Tonyness. So why have'nt we disarmed then? Could it possibly be that they have grown a little wiser?
"A rogue state with nukes could ring up London and say we're comming to take over your country, by the way Manchester has just been nuked"

Oh dear, if you think this is a serious and credible argument then I really do feel sorry for you.

Interestingly, speaking of rogue states, where does the "we are on the side of right" sit with breaking international agreements? (article VI of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).

In fact, would America be a rogue state? Ignores UN resolutions (and bugs their buildings), attacks countries for a regime change, is the only country to have used weapons of mass destruction etc etc etc.
Is Trident independent?

Tony Blair was at pains to say that firing Trident does not require the permission, the satellites or the codes of any other country (i.e. the United States) and that therefore it is fully operationally independent. However, critics say that Britain is technically so dependent on the United States that in effect Trident is not an independent system. For example, the British Trident missiles are serviced at a US port in Georgia, the missiles are to have their lives extended by the US and Tony Blair has said the UK will work with the US when the US develops a replacement for the D5 missile in the 2040s. The critics also argue that the British warhead design is based on an American one and that warhead components are also from the United States. .stm
I don't see why insurance against unlikely events is not a credible argument

You have insurance on your house right? You hope you'll never need it right? But in the unlikeley even of a Jumbo jet hitting your house you are covered. Insurance agianst rogue states is the same thing. No one says its' ;ikely but it's possible.

If the US was a rogue state as you put it then they would be doing what I said above, they are not! Yes the US used nukes, to save lives, very good of them. More paradoxical thinking Mini, if you are still there!
"I don't see why insurance against unlikely events is not a credible argument "

So you would be happy to spend a few billion in case martians landed and tried to take over? What about in case apes started to take over?

With regards your argumnet for insurance - Yes I have home insurance for a calculated risk - there are a multitude that this covers. It costs me around �500 a year.

If you asked me if I would pay a premium specifically in case a jumbo jet was to land on my house and flatten it, i would not. If I could save �5 a year by excluding jumbo jet cover, i would save my 1%.

So would you be happy paying an extra 1% of your insurance to cover "jumbo jet damage?"

Going back to your orginal quote "Nuclear weapons are the unlimate paradox, you need them so you won't need them! end of. " So why have we had wars in the last 50 years - if they are a deterrant, they don't seem to be a very good one?
I have the impression that many comments are from young people who haven't much idea what nuclear war would be about. Perhaps they don't know about the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the first two atom bombs destroyed those cities, killing many thousands of people and hastened the end of the war? It is the prospect of retaliation that deters people from using these dreadful weapons. Horrifying though the thought is, we'd be more at risk without that deterrent.
Well vic, since nukes have existed there has never been a war where a country with nukes was invaded and assimilated. That's what I mean about deterent. Skirmishes into the sh1t holes of the world don't count what I'm talking about was the cold war type scenario. Where the USSR had overwealming superiority in conventional forces and would have invaded the west had they not known for a fact that if necessary the west would have used nukes to stop them. O,k so there's no USSR now but who's to say that rogue states would not develop nukes and use them to perpetually blackmail countries without them? You faith in a sort of twee, "who's' the threat" type argument is odd.

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