Is the Trident replacement being delayed because of Scotland

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by angular, Jun 25, 2009.

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  1. There's a suggestion here:

    that Brown might try to hold a referendum on Scottish independence on the same day as the General Election, to force down the SNP vote.

    "Meanwhile, a separate idea, bold if controversial, is quietly being considered for the same election day: a referendum in Scotland on independence. This reflects a rueful and secretly held sense among some in New Labour that devolution was a mistake which emboldened nationalists and strengthened the hand of Alex Salmond, the Scottish National Party’s leader and Scotland’s First Minister. Brown has long fretted about British identity and about how people increasingly define themselves as English, Welsh and Scottish, rather than as British.

    A referendum would call the Nationalists’ bluff. It would be a high-risk strategy. But Brown would be gambling on the majority of Scots who continue to recognise that the social, economic and political union remains much more than the sum of its parts. "

    Using the words 'Brown' and 'gambling' in the same sentence seems to be the triumph of hope over experience, but it is from the New Statesman.

    It just set me thinking; is the decision on the Trident replacement being delayed until we all know whether there will be a UK for it to protect?
  2. Lots of hard decisions are being delayed until after the next election, not just Trident.
  3. Why can't we develop some nasty little nukes to go on Tomahawk or Stormshadow. Air, sea and land launched. Much cheaper and with greater flexibility.

    Oh... DUR! Silly me. This is Britain. Lets go for the expensively late option!!
  4. As has been said earlier there will be many projects delayed for many years
  5. Because they don't provide a credible 2nd strike capability with global reach. If you want to stay in the nuclear club then sub launched ballistic missiles are the only credible option for the UK as we don't have the wide open desert/steppe spaces to have land based ICBMs
  6. We have the Falklands, Diego Garcia, St. Helena and a number of other barely inhabited outposts that spring to mind. :D
  7. Hmmmm.... I didn't know that a 2nd strike was part of the rationale. Why wouldn't sub launched Tomahawk nukes achieve this then, as well as air launched and land launched? They aren't all going to get splashed in "round one" are they?
  8. UK nuclear capability is NOT a matter of military capability. So drop all this first or second strike discussion blah blah blah.

    It's all about political willy waving to the world.

    Thus, two question need to be asked. First, does the UK still benefit from having Trident (or similar) to willy wave - ie. is the replacement cost effective? Second, given that the nuclear deterent is entirely foreign policy based, why does it come out of the defence budget?
  9. How many Cruise missiles did the Iraqis shoot down in 1991? I think they only travel at 500 knots or so.

    A land based ICBM system would be expensive, as would a force of bomnbers armed with nuclear cruise missiles. When all the support infrastucture is taken into account (extra AAR tankers, more airfields) then another SSBN is actually cheaper.
  10. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    If you put Trident or the equivalent in a land base then that land base would go on 1st strike by the enemy. The current solution is the only one that truly deters, by reason of having an undetectable platform, and virtually unlimited range.