Policy Exchange article: The United Kingdom – A Strangely Reluctant Nuclear Power

Yokel

LE
I was not sure where to put this, so I thought that this forum might be the best place.

The United Kingdom – A Strangely Reluctant Nuclear Power by Air Marshal Edward Stringer

Owning nuclear weapons changes everything. Officers from militaries that are solely conventionally armed ask what it feels like in tones of awe. But, for the vast majority of British officers it is an almost impossible question to answer. Uniquely amongst our peers and allies we push our nuclear forces out into a specialist niche, cloak them with secrecy, and pretend they are nothing to do with ‘us’. This position is supported by the national security apparatus which jealously guards all nuclear policy matters – the military is, essentially, allowed to provide a political service: the Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD). As we are seeing now in Ukraine, this has left the UK somewhat exposed when it transpires that others had always considered nuclear weapons a part of the battlefield armoury. How have we allowed such a dangerous asymmetry of assumptions to arise?
 
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Nice try. Interesting debate, but no takers it would appear.

 
I was not sure where to put this, so I thought that this forum might be the best place.

The United Kingdom – A Strangely Reluctant Nuclear Power by Air Marshal Edward Stringer

Owning nuclear weapons changes everything. Officers from militaries that are solely conventionally armed ask what it feels like in tones of awe. But, for the vast majority of British officers it is an almost impossible question to answer. Uniquely amongst our peers and allies we push our nuclear forces out into a specialist niche, cloak them with secrecy, and pretend they are nothing to do with ‘us’. This position is supported by the national security apparatus which jealously guards all nuclear policy matters – the military is, essentially, allowed to provide a political service: the Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD). As we are seeing now in Ukraine, this has left the UK somewhat exposed when it transpires that others had always considered nuclear weapons a part of the battlefield armoury. How have we allowed such a dangerous asymmetry of assumptions to arise?
Is that a cry that the RAF should have some too?
 
I was not sure where to put this, so I thought that this forum might be the best place.

The United Kingdom – A Strangely Reluctant Nuclear Power by Air Marshal Edward Stringer

Owning nuclear weapons changes everything. Officers from militaries that are solely conventionally armed ask what it feels like in tones of awe. But, for the vast majority of British officers it is an almost impossible question to answer. Uniquely amongst our peers and allies we push our nuclear forces out into a specialist niche, cloak them with secrecy, and pretend they are nothing to do with ‘us’. This position is supported by the national security apparatus which jealously guards all nuclear policy matters – the military is, essentially, allowed to provide a political service: the Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD). As we are seeing now in Ukraine, this has left the UK somewhat exposed when it transpires that others had always considered nuclear weapons a part of the battlefield armoury. How have we allowed such a dangerous asymmetry of assumptions to arise?
Michael Quinlan, military distrust of nuclear weapons early on in the process, a political (and national) disinterest in spending money on homeland defence and national resilience.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Bring back LANCE.

You know it makes sense.
 

Yokel

LE
Maybe being ill has prevented me from thinking, or perhaps I am just thick, but what was AM Stringer actually proposing?

A new tactical weapon? @Archimedes is probably the person to ask, but I am sure that what eventually became Storm intended to be the replacement for WE177, but we gave up tactical nuclear weapons in the 1990s. Is there really a need for a tactical nuclear weapon, given that Trident has sub strategic roles and we are increasing warhead numbers? Did the Russians ever recognise tactical nuclear weapons?
 
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