Farewell Trident, hello...?

  Forum Editor 22 Sep 12
Locked

The hatchet man cometh

Is it just me wondering what on earth goes on in Nick Clegg's mind at times?

  OTT_B 22 Sep 12

To be fair to Nick Clegg (and I may be the only person in the UK at the moment who is!), he needs to regain control and respect within the Lib Dems.

The overall consensus in the party is that Trident should be a no-go, and Danny Alexander appears to be fairly popular and apparently dislikes Trident.

Putting Danny Alexander in to review Trident is a win-win for Clegg.

Since the Lib Dems are unlikely ever to be able to block Trident again, it all makes little difference.

  Nontek 22 Sep 12

I don't think even Nick Clegg knows!

I am glad I will not be here when the next 'balloon' goes up, though I am worried about my grand-kids.

  Strawballs 22 Sep 12

Why replace something that is already capable of overkill, we would be better spending the money on conventional defence.

  morddwyd 22 Sep 12

The trouble is in identifying the threat.

When it was the big bad soviet bear it was all clear cut, ICBMs, and when the detection and defence got too good, ballistic bombs, and now sub sea missiles which can be launched close in, giving less time for defence (hence the necessity for standing submarine patrols, and the stupidity of cutting back out maritime surveillance forces).

Now, of course, the main threat seems to be Iran, perhaps not so sophisticated but more unstable.

This time last year it could have been Libya, this time next year it could be Syria. Even Argentina might like to wave a nuclear stick over the Falklands.

Once we know what the threat is now, and what it might be in five, ten or twenty years we will be able to decide if we actually need a deterrent, and, if so, what form it will take.

Quite frankly I don't think Alexander is up to the job.

  Forum Editor 23 Sep 12

As I said, I don't know enough about defence systems to be able to make an informed judgement, but it would seem to me that if a threat is a possibility from any one of a number of widely separated locations, a patrolling nuclear submarine fleet is the ideal deterrent/response system.

These vessels can be within launch range of almost any viable threat location fairly rapidly, and deliver a potent strike if necessary - they appear to me to be the ideal big stick.

  Quickbeam 23 Sep 12

Since the end of the Cold War, who would we nuke? I know who I think should be nuked, but I doubt that we'd get away with that.

The cost of Trident's drain on resources could surely solve of national financial crisis, and as such place us in a better all round position economically.

  KRONOS the First 23 Sep 12

Quickbeam

Quite true and well said. The obscene amount of money this so called deterrents costs could be better used elsewhere. How about spending a tiny fraction of it in improving living quarters for our troops? or perhaps making sure they have the best personal kit and protection they need? The ridiculous situation where we sent our armed forces to Iraq and Afghanistan ill equipped for the conditions was a national scandal.

  morddwyd 23 Sep 12

"obscene "

Official definition - "Likely to deprave or corrupt".

Don't really see it myself, but perhaps I'm wearing my rose tints again.

  Forum Editor 23 Sep 12

Chronus

Are you in a position to know that the money spent on maintaining the nuclear fleet could be 'better' spent elsewhere? It could obviously be spent elsewhere, but better? That's a judgement that can only be made by those qualified to make it.

You might prefer that it was used for other purposes, but that's an entirely different thing. Defence spending is always a tricky subject, and neither you nor I can know about the threat levels posed by different countries. We can't know because we don't have access to the intelligence information required.

We are an island nation, and in order to deter would be aggressors we need to have a strike capabilitythat is either airborne or seaborne, or both. Carriers fit that bill, but at the moment we have no effective Carrier force. We have a nuclear submarine fleet however, and in my view it would be folly to abandon it at a time when tension in the Middle East is at its present level.

  KRONOS the First 23 Sep 12

Official definition

Pedantic or what?

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