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Britain As A Nuclear Power

Full nuclear weapons debate urged

So the Cold War is over and there is no great threat to us from any major nuclear power. As mentioned by MPs they could serve no useful purpose in the fight against terror, so the only real reason to keep them is for insurance.

And yet we won't let countries like Iran develop them (admittedly not having more countries with Nuclear weapons is a good thing). Surely, we should stop being hypocritical about this?

Not having Nuclear weapons anymore would send a powerful political message out to the world saying they're not needed in modern society. Surely it's worth whatever risk there is in not having them to do this?

Comments

king_pellinor
30th Jun, 2006 11:52 (UTC)
"So the Cold War is over and there is no great threat to us from any major nuclear power."

Whether the threat is nuclear or not isn't relevant - there's no way a nuke can directly defend against another nuke in the way that say having a load of tanks helps keep enemy tanks away.

The point of the nuclear deterrent is to say "we have the capability to squash you like a bug at a moment's notice". That then (hopefully) stops people acting like bugs that we might want to squash.

I'm sure that North Korea, for example, is terribly conscious of the fact that it could cease to exist in a few hours. If nobody had nukes, then North Korea could happily try to re-unify the peninsula, on the grounds that the US doesn't have the spare troops to interfere - or the time to deploy them.

So the nuclear capability is to deter conventional as well as nuclear aggression .

We won't let other countries develop them because, basically, we don't trust them. This is indeed hypocritical, in a Groucho Marxist sort of way: we won't let anyone join the club, as wanting to is a sign that you shouldn't be allowed to. But I think "prove you can play nice, then we'll talk about what toys you can have" is a reasonable approach to take.

I think disarming, in any way, would send a message to certain areas of the world that we don't think they're needed. It would send a message to other parts of the world that we wouldn't dare use strong sanctions like nukes, and thus imply that they needn't worry so much about other sanctions either. That's not a way to keep the world a quiet place, IMO.

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