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Letter to the Media - Trident debate - April 2015
I read with interest the latest election debate on the future of
Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent in the opening decades of the 21st

Unfortunately the main protagonist in this discussion have missed
several key points concerning the practicalities of a modern nuclear
deterrent, aside from the obvious ethical issues on their use.

Although there are arguably as many nuclear missiles in the world as
at any time since the end of the Cold War, the most immediate threat
to European stability, the Russian Federation has already discovered the
virtues of a war by proxy in the Eastern Ukraine negating any threat
of nuclear intimidation. At the same time our nation is unlikely ever to
be faced with a nuclear stand-off with China on the far side of the

Like the Battleship and four-engined bombers, Trident is a weapon's
system from another age of conflict and of little deterrent when much
of the world conflicts are now regional insurgencies, stretched across the
Africa Continent and the Middle East from Mali through Libya, Syria
and Iraq and beyond.

These are potential adversaries who are hardly going to be worried
about a submarine launched nuclear tipped missile as they hide in
their training camps or rock shelters in remote deserts and mountain ranges. 

The counter to this threat is feet on the ground based around rapid
deployment forces equipped with conventional weapons.

At a time when we continue to make redundant dedicated members of our
already over stretched armed forces, and are contemplating the
commission of two aircraft carriers which we can't actually afford to man, fuel
or even equip with enough aircraft and helicopters, Trident is simply
the wrong weapons system for our day and age.

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