Trident: £205 billion squandered on replacing a totally useless weapons system
At present, only the Green Party is committed to dumping Trident and spending the money on things that would benefit us.
Interestingly, some of our top military agree, wanting the money spent on conventional weapons.
In the forthcoming General Election, no matter whether we vote Tory, Labour or Lib Dem, we’ll be lumbered with that £205 billion bill.
What is Trident? It is a weapons system comprising 4 nuclear-powered submarines, each with 16 missile tubes; 58 Trident D5 missiles leased from the USA and approximately 215 nuclear Warheads, 120 of which are considered to be ‘operationally available’ at any one time, installed in the missiles.
Each warhead has at least 8 to 10 times the explosive power of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and releasing 8 to 10 times the radioactivity of those pioneer bombs.
People who don’t know about the destructive power of nuclear weapons must have been among the fairies for all of their life and more likely to be watching daytime TV, Love Island, or other crap, rather than reading this.
There is a lot that we are not allowed to know, but the whole world is informed that at least one of our submarines, with at least 8 armed missiles, is patrolling the seas of the world all the time, ready to bring an end to civilisation as we know it.
Who are the potential targets? Presumably a country with its own nuclear arsenal, including missiles that could reach us. That would not include our allies in NATO. So, the potential targets are Russia and China. There are lesser nuclear powers, which do not have missiles of sufficient calibre to reach us(as far as we know), including India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel.
Is there a strategy for using Trident?
Yes. It is called Mutually Assured Destruction, with the very appropriate acronym, MAD.
Despite the enormous amount of death and destruction our trident attack would inflict on an enemy country, if that country has nuclear weapons, it would be able to retaliate by visiting similar death and destruction on us. We have nuclear-armed missiles on subs hidden under the sea, but so has Russia and China and, given time, other states may join the mad MAD club.
Let’s consider another scenario in which our enemy has some nuclear weapons capability, but much less than ours. Imagine a revived Islamic state (IS)takes over Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal. The IS might threaten Turkey, which is close enough to Pakistan for Pakistan’s short-range missiles to reach. As all NATO members are committed to take action if one member state is threatened and Turkey being a NATO member, we might decide to make a pre-emptive (meaning that we attack before being attacked) strike on the IS regime, being confident that it could not retaliate. But that would assume our strike takes out all the IS missiles in one go. Such hubris might be misplaced, in which case, IS could still have a go, with some remaining missiles, on Israel, for example.
Even if that brought an end to this war, with no more nuclear missiles flying around, the radioactive fall-out from the short war, would kill millions of people, indiscriminately, all round the globe.
Remember that the fall-out from Chernobyl did not just fall on Ukraine, where the nuclear accident occurred, it also fell on us and the rest of Europe. The full repercussions of that radioactive monsoon may not be fully known for decades.
So why are the political parties wedded to this lunacy?
Because we, the public, largely support the lunacy.
Why is this? What are the arguments that sell trident to the public?
- Trident is a deterrent. So long as we have it, all potential enemies are too scared to attack us.
But we are told that the greatest threat to our security is terrorism, the enemy within.
Yet not a single terrorist attack has been prevented by our possession of Trident and other nuclear weapons. There have been major terror attacks in the USA and France, regardless of those states’ possession of nuclear weapons
Nuclear weapons have kept the peace since 1945.
- I Wish that were true. There has not been another war between the major powers of Europe, but around the world as a whole there have been over 100 wars since 1945, with Britain involved, to varying degrees, in most of them.
The flashpoint for war on the European continent during the 19th and 20th centuries was the tension between France and Germany. The European Union has precluded that as a cause of war.
Of course, there has been a lot of trouble in Europe since 1945: invasions of East Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union; a military coup in Greece, the ghastly Balkans war in the break-up of Yugoslavia and the 30 years of the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland. Our nuclear deterrent deterred none of this
- Trident keeps men in work. It is true that the workforce at Barrow-in-Furness has been at it for decades, mainly designing ships that were never built and now building the new generation of Trident subs. But it is not all it seems. In the main, the subs now being built will use foreign components. They will be powered by engines and cooling systems designed in the USA. The subs’ important sensor systems, although ostensibly made by BAE, are in fact coming from a sub-contracted talian company. The sonar systems are to be French-made. The nuclear warheads will be American-made and will be maintained by an American company. The steel for the hulls will come from France. The giant crane, which will lift the subs out of the water for maintenance at their Faslane base in Scotland, has been built by an American company.
The only truly British part of the entire Trident programme, which is keeping men in work in France, Italy and the USA, is the source of the money. That is entirely British. We are the suckers.
So why do the suckers of Britain stand for it? Because we do not know the truth of those claims of deterrence, keeping the peace and creating jobs in the hard-hit north of England.
Another matter is national pride, a hang-over of our imperial past, the biggest empire the world has ever known, the pink on the map on which the sun never sets.
Oh, dear, what twaddle.
Without our nuclear weapons, we would lose our seat at the top table.
Baloney. The world’s top-most table is the UN Security Council. Our seat there was given us before we had so much as a nuclear sparkler. It was ordained by the Dumbarton Oaks conference of the allied powers in 1944, before a single country had a nuclear weapon, and ratified by the founding meeting of the UN in 1945.