Nuclear Weapons - An Out-moded Concept For Britain?

Does the UK need to keep it's Nuclear Weapons?


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Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
No nuclear weapons have been used in anger since 1945. The very thought of nuclear weapons being used is so bad that no one has done so for fear of annihilation. So these things sit around gathering dust, occasionally being replaced by newer, faster, more powerful weapons that in turn will sit around gathering dust.

We, as a Nation, are all but broke. These weapons cost a fortune to design, procure, store and replace. And will we ever use them? Are they (ours, not America's) really a deterrent when our sworn Allies (NATO) have them and will act according to the Treaty and defend us against aggression? Even without NATO/USA are we likely to be hit by anyone with Nuclear Weapons in such a way that ours could be used in retaliation?

Surely it must now be time to say that Nuclear Weapons are out of date and we no longer need or want them. Save the billions that Trident costs us and use it to fix some of the problems at home.

Some of you will now say that being in the Nuclear Club ensures our seat on the Security Council. Does it? And if we lose our seat along with the weapons, does it really matter. Personally I think we're now fighting above our weight and need to pull back and look after ourselves for a while.



Bit of a ramble, but there you go. Over to you.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Yes. More and more countries are getting them. It would be typical of the Uk to get rid of something just as everyone else arms themselves with it.
 
#3
I think at the end of the day we can not tell what will happen in the future as we have seen over the last 8 years. Anything can happen and I believe that despite being the henious weapons they are, we need to have them as a deterrent. Possibly an old way of thinking, but I feel a relevant way.
 
#4
they are moslty getting theatre weapons to threaten neighbours with.
a nuclear detterant to deter who exactly?
it was a bit of a fantasy in cold war the ussr problably would'nt have noticed france and the uk's combined nukes compared with the arse kicking it was getting from the yanks.
trident is a white elephant now its sailing round undected threating nuclear devestation to nobody.
if a new threat develops in 40 years time we can always build a new set of nukes it only took 10 years from scratch the last time
 
#5
Maybe we should get rid of the nuc boats and have fixed land based launchers doted around the world, like, the falkland's, Diago Garcia, the Hebrede's and the Sily's. Thus any counterstrikes would be nowwhere near the mainland, we would have world coverage and it would be difficult for a counterstrike to hit all the sites.

What more to you need for a deterrant??
 
#6
If we get rid of Trident then the money saved would be splurged on hand outs for chavs and nanny state social engineering projects. It certainly wouldn't be spent on conventional weapons that's for sure.

Personally I feel defence of the realm is rather more important than some chav having cash for drink/drugs/x box games. There's too many unstable nations aquiring nuclear weapons at the moment to considering giving ours up IMO.
 
#7
The only occasion they have been used is when one side had them and the other lot didn't. That seems a fairly compelling reason to be one of the lot that has them.

And high minded debates about morality aside, I want to be assured that should, through some completely unforeseen turn events, deterence fails and the horror of nuclear attack should befall the UK it will be possible to visit equal pain, suffering and destruction upon the originator to a similar if not greater scale.
 
#8
We kinda****ed ourselves. Where the French and Germans made themselves more self sufficient (germans drive german cars, French drive french cars). We import practically all of our food despite having a very fertile land (which only %10 of it is used for farming).

If we, as a country, stopped kidding ourselves about the glory of Great Britain, and focused on being a self sustained country like Holland or Sweden that just does it's own thing and focused on building a country based on core moral values then we wouldn't be the sick man of Europe. Instead liebour continued to pour benefits on f'uck ups up north that kept having more f'uck up children.

We rely too much on imports and the remnants of the British empire. We've made too many enemies over the years by trying to maintain a "world power" status. We laid our beds and now we have to sleep with nukes at our sides...to rid them in this day and age would be far too foolish. Maybe 2 wars ago we could've hung up our nukes.....but to do so now would make us more walked on than we already are.
Don't forget our illustrious leader after releasing Megrahi was snubbed within 5 minutes of his speech about talking to Libya for compensation.

I don't see this country being able to ever rid itself of nukes, we rule in the midst of enemies.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
What is the actual cost of our nuclear deterrent anyway?

We run subs anyway, so having a couple with nukes onboard is no particular drama IMHO. When compared to the life-cycle costs of other military hardware, I don't see it as being particularly expensive.

We aren't just providing a deterrent to nuclear-armed adversaries anyhow - it should be a deterrent to any state actors that fancy having a pop at the UK. Nuclear attack? We have a response. Germ warfare? We have a response.

The message is quite clear. If someone really wants to harm the people of the UK, they'd better weigh in the cost to their tribe of a retaliatory strike of biblical proportions.

What if we get assaulted by a nuclear-armed aggressor country, and we want to invade. There may be nothing to deter them from nuking the conventional attacking forces that we might send in. When we have nukes, the impetous is to keep things purely conventional for fear of the consequences of either party pushing the button.
 
#10
As someone who has practiced loading them in my Air Force career,on Tornado & Nimrod's, I'd say a courtious 'yes',however we as a nation have to re-evaluate our need for them in the quantities we had during the cold war.
Certainly we do not need the quantity of weapons we had & we have to look at their possible deployment more closely.
Granby is point in case.Before it,we done one practice load & 'disposal' per month but in the build up to Granby,it was sometimes one a week with live weapons deployed to Cyprus.The was talk that the deployment stopped Saddam useing his WMD & kept Isreal from retaliating after they were attacked.
 
#11
Legs,

Your first statement is not quite true, there was a pro nuke use camp in amongst the Americans during both the Korean and Vietnam wars. During the Korean war annihilation was not a concern, although WW3 was. The pro-nuke lobby during the Vietnam war were on the fringes and of course by then the Soviets could offer massive retaliation (but would they have for N. Vietnam?)

You are also incorrect about them being replaced by newer more powerful weapons. The worry now is that the newer weapons will be smaller tactical bombs used for destroying bunkers or centres of government. Why waste the whole of London when just nuking the square mile would achieve the point? Think about this if Israel possessed a nuclear tipped bunker buster and it was the only way to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons in one go the likely hood of seeing nuclear weapons used would increase.

You cannot of course guarantee that in 10 years time the US will still even be in NATO, come on why bother when other NATO countries already do so little in comparison? If Britain and France gave up nukes a future Germany might decide they are better off with their own nukes rather than rely on the US. UK & French nukes prevent european proliferation.

In terms of cost they are not as expensive as many think, you are seeing the cost not the value. This years government expenditure looks something like this;

NHS - £112 Billion
Welfare - £50 Billion
Defence - £42 Billion
Pensions - £52 Billion

Cost of replacing trident over 30 years - £76 Billion. £2.5 billion per year. (figures lifted from the Guardian so probably wrong!)

If owning that stops someone evening plotting to invade the EU or directly attack the UK then it is a cheap insurance policy.
 
#12
B_G_L said:
Cost of replacing trident over 30 years - £76 Billion. £2.5 billion per year. (figures lifted from the Guardian so probably wrong!)
Much like the 1.3 million dead Iraqis figure, just an emotive over-estimate used to make a political point. Try £30bln over 30 years: most of the cost is front-loaded but, it averaged out at £1bln a year, i.e. naff all. Plus we'll lose our ability to build nuclear submarines (as we nearly did in the 90s due to a lack of orders - see the problems of the Astute class) as an added bonus of scrapping our nukes.
 
#13
Nuclear weapons nearing their "best before " date,large numbers of Mussulmen assembled at Mecca.........res ipsa loquitur......... :twisted:
 
#14
In a world where the likes of Iran and North Korea are developing offensive nukes and a multitude of nations have them (Pakistan, given its slightly precarious future occasionally?) that do not particularly like the UK can we afford not to have them?
If they continue to perfform the function that they have for decades as a very potent detterent then we need them.
I recognise the argument that the Russians or USA may consider our capablity quite small but that isn't pertinent to all the other states that have nuclear capablity or will do in the near future.

Lets be honest, we may not be the biggest kid on the block but a dozen Trident potentially winging in the direction of any protagonist is significant enough to make anyone think twice.

They cannot be un-invented, therefor we are condemned to always having them.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#15
parapauk said:
B_G_L said:
Cost of replacing trident over 30 years - £76 Billion. £2.5 billion per year. (figures lifted from the Guardian so probably wrong!)
Much like the 1.3 million dead Iraqis figure, just an emotive over-estimate used to make a political point. Try £30bln over 30 years: most of the cost is front-loaded but, it averaged out at £1bln a year, i.e. naff all. Plus we'll lose our ability to build nuclear submarines (as we nearly did in the 90s due to a lack of orders - see the problems of the Astute class) as an added bonus of scrapping our nukes.
Strikes me as an absolute bargin. Less than the utterly useless Regional Development Agencies and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
 
#16
I'm not so sure the primary impetus or encouragement for the retention of nukes, nowadays, is merely "to be seen as being big on the world stage".

During 'The Cold War', when the nuclear club consisted of only a handful of members, and broke down nicely into 'Us & Them', we always knew who 'Them' were. And Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) took care of the rest and ensured that the Cold War never went hot - or at least restricted it to the dozens of proxy wars in Africa, South America, Malaya, Aden, Oman etc. fought with conventional munitions.

Nowadays, what with rogue Russian & Pakistani nuke scientists flogging their wares tot he highest bidder on eBay, the nuclear club now consists of any tinpot tosser with the green to buy-in (i.e. North Korea, Pakistan, Iran et al)

And if the al-Q boys take over Pakistan, which is their primary stated aim, then that gives the world's worst ******* a place at the top table, but no guarantee that they have any intention of adhering to any of the previously observed 'rules' of MAD.

And let's be honest, all it would take is just one nuke spectacular from these mutts and somewhere in the West, perhaps more than one place, gets left with a very toxic backyard [for a very long time!] and a lot of dead people.

If, by retention, we can make them think twice about whether they'd want to launch a nuke, or explode a briefcase dirty bomb in a London/Paris/Madrid/New York street/subway/Tube/office block/passenger train (or whatever the destination or delivery mechanism might be), then maybe retention means we have still have that deterrent bargaining chip?
 
#17
When your car is a bit old and battered, do you just throw away the old one? No, you upgrade and sell on the old one.

So, my solution is that we buy the new all singing all dancing Trident replacement, and to offset the cost, we sell the existing missiles, warheads and submarines to the highest bidder on the global arms market.

Simples!
 
#18
Nukes have done well for the past 64 years but lets have biological weapons instead,far cheaper to produce,easier delivery systems and much more of a mental impact as far as deterrent is concerned.And then the money saved could be spent on decent military kit and sweeties.
 
#19
badgers_arse said:
Nukes have done well for the past 64 years but lets have biological weapons instead,far cheaper to produce,easier delivery systems and much more of a mental impact as far as deterrent is concerned.And then the money saved could be spent on decent military kit and sweeties.

You're not really up to date on rulings or directives?

As for Nukes, to be honest we are an island, and the only reason we have nukes is in the event of being hit first, the reason i say this is because we are part of NATO and will never ever be allowed to use nuclear weapons unless we have been directly hit by another country, and to be honest if that occurs then i doubt anyone in the UK would really care too much that we had the ability to obliterate the country who had obliterated us.

So basically they're sat there as a deterrant, every country knows that if they strike us we will hit them back, so the nukes themselves are pretty pointless, but the idea behind them isn't.

I would say in this day and age i doubt anyone would even contemplace using them in all seriousness, except those without real nations such as terrorists, because if a group such as AQ or the Taleban struck us with a nuke/dirty bomb we couldn't exactly strike back as there would be no real targets. But again it's like the aircraft carriers and so on, the procurement of things like nukes are so long and technical that if you get rid of them it would take a decade to get them back if we did require them in future (cold war starting up again?).
 
#20
As third world schitzoid states have the ability to deliver nukes, having a counter to that is just a tad important. As much as we dissmiss the loons out there who think it really gives them power, Iran for example. Those idiots think having a nuke will let them crack on, no it won't it will mean they get nuked. Only a supreme idiot would dis-invent a technology that means any aggressor would suffer as much, if not more by having a go. Giving up nukes is as stupid as giving up breathing.
 
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