Defence Secretary’s report to parliament confirms commitment to Trident

Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, today presented a report to the House of Commons – The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent 2013 Update to Parliament’.

In this report, Hammond restated the British government’s commitment to continuing with the plan to go through the ‘main gate’ of the contract for the second generation of Trident missiles, when the date falls due. Experts say that it is already too late to go back on commitments already made, the final bill for which will be around £100 billion.

This will see the storage and deployment on patrolling submarines of nuclear weapons at Argyll’s Coulport on Loch Long and Faslane on the Gare Loch, the main UK submarine base.

Angus Robertson MP, leader of the SNP group Westminster and his party’s spokesperson on defence, made the points that are patently to be made on the futility and wastefulness of spending on this project.

He noted the anachronistic ‘strategic’ military thinking – still tied to the Cold War.

This is still calibrated on Russia being the major treat to world peace and paying to be prepared to nuke it flat should the need arise.

Peter Sellars’ fabulous characterisation of the unhinged Dr Strangelove [Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb] would have stretched its credibility too far it if, back in 1964, it had projected that the same mindset still ruled our warlords.

Mr Robertson said: ‘The defence needs of the 21st century do not include Cold War era bombs to be dumped on the Clyde for another 50 years . The other Westminster political parties are fellow travellers in this project – with the junior partners in the coalition failing to halt this utter waste of money, and indeed the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury  Danny Alexander happy to sign off a billion here and a  billion there for his Tory bosses’ desire for nuclear weapons.  We do know that the senior Tory MP and Chairman of the Defence Select Committee , James Arbuthnot , has stated that renewing Trident does not ‘provide the certainty it seemed to in the past: it’s a potential booby trap.’  He should be heeded – but Westminster seems hell bent on full steam ahead for Trident.’

Trident is the most senseless, useless and indefensibly expensive folly imaginable.

We will never use it – and if we did we would be a party to triggering armageddon. This is the Samson syndrome – take it all down with you. Nothing could ever justify such as action – if there was anyone left to judge.

Spending the same amount differently on our defence strategy would see it much better shape, task ready and capable of likely deployments – with Faslane and Coulport the centre of a contemporary direction for submarine operations.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Should be investing in visible deterrents like surface vessels and keeping rest of military closer to required strength with decent equipment — having assets that can be seen & have scope for multi-purpose use, having assets with single purpose of annihilation of phantom enemies which will never get used is pointless beyond making UK feel ‘bigger’

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    Iain December 16, 2013 4:36 pm Reply
  • Totally agree Iain

    Far from an economic engine for Helensburgh and Lomond the Nuclear element deters investment and industrial diversification.

    Fewer people live in H & L than before the Base.

    According to Babcock estates people 85% of the service people are not residents but go south every weekend and rarely venture out of the Base while here. That equates to a loss of £64m per annum to the local economy.

    Roll on the Base being home to the Scottish Defence Force HQ from 2016.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

    Graeme mccormick December 16, 2013 7:26 pm Reply
    • I have lived here 40 years please explain fewer people live in H &L than before the base and why the nuclear puts off investment in the area

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

      Plugit December 17, 2013 7:59 am Reply
      • If you consider a slightly wider area, Firth of Clyde – the access to Atlantic for the submarines – then oil investment has been smothered by MoD for decades

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

        Iain December 17, 2013 11:38 am Reply
      • Plugit

        Nice work while it lasted eh?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

        H20 December 17, 2013 11:35 pm Reply
      • So you lived 40 years 30 10 ? So what I have lived here much longer.
        Investment in nuclear weapons is a folly and prevents alternative investment such as tourism etc

        As mentioned above shore leave = an exodus south wards . When on duty in the deep they contribute nothing.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

        H20 December 18, 2013 9:05 am Reply
        • Please explain how the base prevents tourism apart from the restricted areas at Coulport and Faslane the great bulk of the Clyde is open for business .Regards the men at sea not contributing to the area a good number are married and live locally but you can be sure if the subs go south the men and there families will go with them and that will certainly help the local area I don’t think

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

          Plugit December 18, 2013 12:38 pm Reply
          • A long time ago left Blairvadich over Glen Fruin onto the tops weather deteriorated tried to get off hills but escape route blocked by razor wire fencing at Glen Douglas. Told by some nice English speaking gents to go away ( actually they said something else).
            Tourist friendly? For the first time I felt this country was occupied.
            Instead we have the monstrosity of nuclear weapons on our land.

            For the benefit of Robert map reading skills are good but security fence redacted from the maps!
            Didn’t exist .

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

            H20 December 18, 2013 3:31 pm
          • Big munitions storage sites are never likely to be wide open for wanderers, thank goodness – problems with map reading, H20? – you could have been just as unwelcome crossing a deer fence (albeit without the razor wire), but you seem to be fixated on the concept that Scotland is a colony of England. Not very edifying, maybe your inferiority complex is treatable?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

            Robert Wakeham December 18, 2013 4:15 pm
        • @H2O post 15:31 today, Were they foreign gents speaking English or British gents speaking English (not unusual)?, so what’s your point?, I know there are people on here who, without razor fencing, would be delighted to give you the same message in the language of your choice, whether you were approaching a maypole, ribbon, festive tinsel or just their space. Could use the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet but that would upset poor Andy, suffice to say that next time you read or hear IRSA you’ll know what is`meant IRSA , there now.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

          sokay December 18, 2013 4:22 pm Reply
          • “Poor Andy” doesn’t really do “upset” but when inconsiderate people like yourself use language which is not suitable for children on a site which is not restricted to over 18s, then I do wonder at the mentality of such contributors. I can swear along with the rest of them but there are times and places where it is not acceptable. If you can’t make your points without such language then you should go and find yourself an education.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

            Andy December 19, 2013 1:19 pm
          • @ Andy…Andy, I retracted the one swear word I’d used in frustration and anger at the random thumbers on here, and apologised unreservedly, it also proved my point that F.A. cannot and does not monitor the site 24/7. It’s a lot clearer now that you’ve explained that children access the site, this should have been obvious from some of the past posts. Although deleted, a copy of the post was taken by some righteous trolls and stored in their pleasure caves just for the record and the police, deary foxtrotting me? Where were your standards when H20 posted a link on here to “wings over Scotland” which contained, to say the least, some bad language; I’m not the only one to have posted sweary words on here and ** means nothing in my co. You mention education, usually the subject of those believing they are better educated than others, apart from one sweary word on what do I need an education and detail your qualifications for making the suggestion Ta! if your into maths/english how would you describe one with double, double standards ? standards squared or quadruple standards?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

            sokay December 19, 2013 2:41 pm
    • Given the base was built during WW2 it is going to be pretty hard to pin the root cause of population shifts (in either direction) solely or even predominantly on the presence of the base.

      Recent population trends (say last 15-20 years) does highlight a reduction in the population in Helensburgh & Lomond BUT it should be noted that the other administrative areas of A&B are suffering from a higher rate of decline than H&L. Meanwhile neighbouring authorities such as WDC and Inverclyde are suffering similar problems with population decline.

      Given this consistent pattern in similar areas and the number of influencing factors I think it is near on impossible to lay the blame for population decline on the base.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      Integrity? December 17, 2013 7:24 pm Reply
  • I imagine most of us are with newsie on this one, and I am certainly with Iain and Graeme. In a future Scottish Navy we need territorial water defence only. No wandering about the South China Sea to prove how big our missiles are, like some folks.
    SN bases in the Clyde and Forth could provide many more jobs than the present set-up, where a large part of the RN is based on the south coast (not to mention the shipbuilding opportunities).

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    Kassandra December 16, 2013 7:46 pm Reply
    • What ship building opportunities are you talking about and you mention all these extra jobs what will they be doing?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

      Plugit December 17, 2013 8:04 am Reply
  • Trident is obsolete just like the battleships of the last century,it is of no strategic value in defence of this country,it will not and can not defend us from present day threats, it is a useless vanity project

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    john in kintyre December 17, 2013 6:25 pm Reply
  • It sounds very simplistic I will admit, but in one hand we all here in Scotland have a choice to vote for Wasteminster’s priorities, one of those being a defence policy content to invest 70-80 billion pounds of UK taxpayer’s money on Trident renewal.
    On the other hand, by voting ‘YES’ approximately a tenth of that mammoth sum could be invested ridding Scotland of the shame that lives with us in the ever growing food banks (one now sustaining the impoverished in Orkney) as well as knocking the unworkable bedroom tax on the head.
    These decisions are all about priorities, correct choices and putting the welfare of the citizens of the country you serve first and foremost, I ask myself are those who ply their trade from Westminster living in the past?
    Vote ‘NO’ and you intentionally choose an irreversible UK’s unethical immoral hugely expensive vanity project over those who live with continued daily poverty right here in Scotland.
    Newsie lambasts the very thought of Scottish independence on one hand yet wishes to see us strapped to the funding of something she describes as “the most senseless, useless and indefensibly expensive folly imaginable”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    JnrTick December 17, 2013 10:14 pm Reply
    • You do know that NATO is a nuclear organisation and that all members of NATO are in the Nuclear Umbrella?

      All members of NATO directly or indirectly accept the nuclear deterrant. And yet Salmond wants to JOIN Nato.

      I fail to understand what voting Yes will bring. Shifting the problem does not solve it, far from it. Joining a nuclear alliance supports nuclear weapons. Even Norway have a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy according to the SNP White Paper.

      Can you see where this is going? Promises promises turned to dust, that’s where. Vote Yes and suddenly we’ll start seeing the SNP back down on their ‘hardline’ because not to do so will result in isolation. Don’t believe me? Check out what happened to New Zealand when they did something similar….

      vote Yes to be assured a seat at NATO. And therefore vote Yes to support a nuclear alliance.

      Wake up people, your party are leading you a merry dance. Stop taking everything that comes out of Salmond’s mouth as gospel and think for yourselves.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

      Jamie Black December 17, 2013 10:53 pm Reply
      • Hi Jamie
        And being a member of NATO as you put it “under the nuclear umbrella” will cost Scotland how much to maintain a Scottish nuclear deterrant?
        Where does the jaw dropping cost and the savings an independent Scotland would make (the primary point I attempted to make) come into your argument?
        What do you suggest Scotland does with the bilions it is expected to contribute towards the renewal of Trident should we be successful in gaining our independence?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

        JnrTick December 17, 2013 11:06 pm Reply
      • Wide awake
        It’s the guff that eminates from Westminster that is the lie.
        Codes for nukes lie with the Americans.
        Big brave Cameron strutting his stuff in the security council is not worth the risk of having nuclear weapons on the Clyde either from accidents or through possible attack.
        To have nukes = less conventional forces — fact
        To have nukes = food banks and attack on the poor and vulnerable — fact
        I do not need the First Minister to think for myself thanks. Your silly argument over such issues that the independence movement is based on 1 person is becoming rather tired and dated. If AS was not around there will still be a YES campaign to save this country.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

        H20 December 17, 2013 11:33 pm Reply
      • I see neither of you has responded to the point i’m making – that on one hand the SNP profess to want to get rid of nuclear weapons from these shores, and on the other hand want to join a nuclear alliance.

        Defence costs money, it’s that simple. The Scottish Government are fairly good at pouring cash into things that suit them whilst there are other problems. For example, giving £2m to develop a Gaelic dictionary whilst numbers of people using foodbanks is increasing. If you want to start down that route, you’re on a hiding to nothing.

        The problem with the SNP is the complete naivity and lack of maturity when thinking on a global scale. The world changes all the time, it’s not a nice wee cosy world where we all love each other. Using the SNP logic, I wonder why they even bother planning a Scottish Defence Force, because no party member or Yes man I know has ever actually been able to tell me who might threaten Scotland in the future.

        Peace man….

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

        Jamie Black December 18, 2013 7:14 am Reply
        • A book you can read — in any language and gain from it socially and from a basic knowledge context- nuclear weapons you cannot use — in any sane world. So the anti Gaelic brigade prefers nuclear weapons! Bitter together right enough.
          Jamie who would you nuke in the defence of your beloved RUK. Based on the above Scotland has no enemies other than those who would impose an immoral weapon system on another people. Ask the various churches their take on it from a moral perspective.
          It is not unreasonable to have conventional forces including in my view a US Coast Guard type force to deter.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

          H20 December 18, 2013 8:54 am Reply
          • You have such a child like and naive view of the world. It’s not even worth trying to reason with you.

            You probably think the Cold War never happened, that Russia are no longer a threat, that North Korea is a peace loving country, that Iran is an ally and that there has never been a nuclear stand off.

            All of the above are ridiculous and driven by ego maniac politicians and ‘statesmen’. Absolute idiots, and probably none Scottish. However, sadly, with humam nature being what it is, only in the eyes of the SNP and Yes campaign is it impossible to contemplate a nuclear stand off, a rogue state using nuclear weapons.

            This is the harsh (and I totally accept unnecessary) reality of the world we live in. We are living in a tiny tiny time period in the history of the world and humanity. Our weapons against each other have changed, but the human instinct for war never has.

            You should do yourself a favour research the concept of ‘nuclear deterrent’. Then you may understand why Trident is needed. It should never be needed, but you or I have no idea what the world will look like in 30years or so. Who was it that said ‘to keep the peace, prepare for war’? Or something like that. It is why it is needed.

            You of course will disagree, but when all’s said and done, as i’ve said before, in the world we live,i’d rather the more/most responsible countries have the appropriate weaponry to combat rogue and unpredictable states.

            Regardless, if we in the UK and Scotland ditch nuclear weapons, then as part of NATO and the nuclear umbrella we would be ‘protected’ by the US. What that means is that they dictate the terms, and Alex Salmond will be forced to accept nuclear weapons on Scottish soil, or if he sticks to his principles, wave goodbye to Nato membership and be isolated completely from the US and other nations.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 10:13 am
          • Jamie, the majority of NATO members do not have nuclear weapons on their soil. What exactly would oblige Scotland to do so?

            And do you really believe that Trident is under full UK control?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

            Longshanks December 18, 2013 10:40 am
          • Good question, and an important one. In terms of a Nato nuclear deterrent, the UK is a core part of that, and as such, we host our ‘own’ weapons on UK soil.

            The issue with Scottish independence is that on one hand, the SG have indicated that we would be welcomed into Nato, but at the very same time, would be trying to play a very disruptive hand by attempting to force out nuclear weapons that have been here for decades. I’m sure the SNP would be delighted if it caused the UK to give up nuclear weapons, but as part of NATO, the SNP stance is not compatible.

            You would be right to say that Nato would not force us to retain nuclear weapons, but if we decided to ‘stick to our guns’ we’d never join and be excluded.

            You can’t join an organisation and pick and choose which parts of their operating model you want. By choosing to join Nato, we choose to be part of a nuclear alliance, and therefire accept that we may have to host nuclear weapons as part of that. That nuclear weapons are permenantly based here makes it even more awkward for the SNP.

            And so, as I say, were Scotland to vote Yes, either we’d never be admitted to Nato, or there would be shift in stance by the SNP or whatever party are in power. The promise to rid these shores of nuclear weapons would be broken. Given that the SNP did a massive policy u-turn on Nato recently, this is not beyond the realms of possibility.

            The SNP, as so often now, wish to have their cake and eat it. They make us look rather silly on a world stage. ‘I want to join your club but set our own rules’.

            And so my question Longshanks – why did the SNP decide to ditch their anti-NATO stance? It’s hard to understand they are opposed to nuclear weapons, but have very recently decided that they support a nuclear alliance?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 11:11 am
          • Let me direct you to Question 282 on the White Paper QnA section.

            Response – ‘while they are both strong advocates for nuclear disarmament, both Norway and Denmark allow NATO vessels to visit their ports without confirming or denying whether they carry nuclear weapons. We intend that Scotland will adopt a similar approach as Denmark and Norway in this respect’.

            The SNP are complete hypocrits, and in this case, complete liars. Crowing about removing nuclear weapons whilst deliberatly creating a loophole to circumvent this when it suits.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 12:58 pm
          • Jamie,

            Perhaps you should remember what NATO stands for. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

            Chucking Scotland out would leave rather a large strategic hole in the North Atlantic. It is not going to happen.

            Organisations like NATO do not behave like spoiled children.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

            Longshanks December 18, 2013 3:44 pm
          • totally agree. If the Scottish Government has a tantrum over nuclear weapons, then they will not get in. Simple. NATO will not suffer countries who want in the club on their own terms.

            So your last line of defence is that because we are in the North Atlantic, we must be in? Lol. Do you know how many countries that are not in or border the North Atlantic are in Nato? Please share.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 5:27 pm
          • Do you know how many countries that are not in or border the North Atlantic are in Nato?

            TO tell you the truth, I don’t even understand that sentence.

            If you mean, how many countries border the N. Atlantic and are not in NATO then the answer is one.


            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

            Longshanks December 18, 2013 9:36 pm
        • Scotland doesn’t have delusions of grandeur, we don’t want to rule the waves, be one of the elite if immoral members of the nuclear club, so why would an independent Scotland want let alone need nuclear weapons.

          What do you think Scotland could do with the 10 billion it would save not renewing Trident Jamie, minus the pee in the ocean 2 million for Gaelic of course?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

          JnrTick December 18, 2013 1:55 pm Reply
          • Scotland may not have delusions of grandeur, but Salmond and the SNP most certainly to.

            From my experience, Scots are a friendly, peaceful people who take a ‘live and let live’ attitude.

            Salmond on the other hand wants to start life of an independent Scotland by pissing everyone off, like a cat marking his scent. He thinks he only need state his demands on the EU, Nato, rUK and they will be met. Oh how wrong he is.

            His delusions of grandeur will win no favours on the international arena.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 2:16 pm
          • and btw JnrTick, that ‘elite’ you talk about? That would be every member of Nato, who knowingly signed up to a nuclear alliance warts and all.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 2:19 pm
          • And the 10 billion saved not paying our contribution towards renewing Trident if Scotland does the right thing and votes ‘YES’, what do you think Scotland could do with that sum and subsequent savings made through not having to service Trident?

            I might as well stick at it, bound to get an answer eventually.

            Just tell us all Jamie, you would rather Scotland continued wasting billions on this so called deterrent against whatever it is deterring against rather than seeing people climb out of poverty, doing away with food banks, re-investment into public services etc etc etc. wouldn’t you?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

            JnrTick December 18, 2013 9:20 pm
          • Really simple Jnrtick.

            Were I able to read the future and know for a fact that in the next 100 years or so there was NEVER going to be a risk of some major conflict that MAY require the presence or worst case use of a nuclear deterrent, then I there would be no question – scrap Trident.

            But no-one can give that guarantee, and on that basis, there is no choice – we must responsibly maintain a nuclear deterrent.

            You still fail to respond to my point that if flinging money at it will solve poverty, then why are the SNP wasting millions on all sorts of vanity projects, not least the referendum when they could can the projects and cure poverty? You must be aware that independence, if you believe the hype, will not and cannot solve anything for at least 5 years…you’re okay with that?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 10:46 pm
          • This is really exasperating, honestly.

            Vanity projects? such as what?

            The independence referendum? What don’t you understand Jamie, come on you are either intentionally trying to wind us all up or are failing to grasp the whole concept of what real democracy is.

            The current Scottish govt. had in their manifesto prior to their majority victory of the last Scottish election a promise to hold this as you call “vanity project” rational individuals recognise it as a democratic referendum offering the citizens of Scotland the incredible opportunity to make decisions that directly affect them right here in Scotland from Holyrood.
            What do you want the Scottish government to do, renege on this. It is maybe understandable if this is what you expect of them after all this is what we are all used to, elected parties and broken promises but how refreshing for the SNP to do what they said they’d do eh? Might just explain that’s why they got re-elected in such large numbers.

            Had the majority not wanted this referendum they only had to vote for another political party, it’s that simple, fact is they didn’t and we are having it, democracy Jamie, democracy.

            You see, this is a fine example where we in Scotland actually get to experience democracy in the flesh as opposed to taking what England foists upon us at general elections then tolerating for Labour or Conservatives term in office whether Scotland wants them or not.

            So, five years until independence can solve anything?
            If the unthinkable should win the day Sept. 2014 and Scottish citizens are duped, scared, cheated, lied as they had done to them previously into voting ‘NO’, what with the current devolved powers Scotland possesses do you believe will reverse the many ails this supposed wealthy UK has overseen?

            The Barnett formula, of course you’ll blindly believe a ‘NO’ vote will see this untouched? Think again.

            The elected government post independence whatever party/coalition is returned successful will have choices it has never had, ones that can truly shape and transform the lives of all who reside here, the ability to prioritise policies tailored for the benefit of this country.
            I want to see a Scotland not better, but equal to those who easily outperform the UK, who’s living standards make many areas in the UK let alone Scotland look like third world shanty towns.
            My goal for Scotland is in my opinion unachievable as long as we are willing to accept that other countries with their own priorities and agendas are the very countries who should be deciding what is best for Scotland. This current situation is failing, has been for too long, is embarrassingly apparent and requires the catalyst to kick-start a reverse in the decline, living standards, equality etc etc etc., a fully accountable Scotland focused fully empowered parliament just like every other normal grown up responsible nation.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

            JnrTick December 21, 2013 9:03 am
  • JB

    US dictates the terms NOW to the present UK

    Thanks for informing me that there are bad countries around. Never thought of that. But based on your view the risk of attack is from Russia, Iran and North Korea

    I would judge that the chance of the 3 countries invading Scotland are nil. So you would agree that the monies saved on nuclear weapons could be spent on other things.

    Explains your mindset entirely – Dr Srangelove springs to mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    H20 December 18, 2013 3:16 pm Reply
    • ‘invading Scotland’. Says it all about your knowledge of warfare and why I should know better than to engage with you on such debates! Do you think they will march in with a big dirty bomb?

      The very principle of NATO is that an attack on any member is an attack on all members. Now do you start to understand?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

      Jamie Black December 18, 2013 3:43 pm Reply
      • I understand more than you think but as in previous posts when things don’t go your own way you get a bit ratty.

        Let’s assume we are not in NATO a decision taken by the Scots Parliament in 10 years time if independent.

        Who will attack us !
        Lichtenstein Luxembourg with their navy. The NATO alliance?

        As said Nuclear weapons are a waste of money be you in the RUK or Scotland–FACT

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

        H20 December 18, 2013 6:31 pm Reply
        • “I would judge that the chance of the 3 countries invading Scotland are nil. ”

          I don’t know who you are so how do I know that your judgement is better than anyone else’s?”

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

          Lowry December 18, 2013 7:15 pm Reply
        • It’s a valid point – why join a nuclear alliance for protection if a) you do not believe in maintaining a nuclear deterrent and b) you do not think anyone will attack you.
          Maybe you should ask Alex Salmond and the SNP, after all it was they who did U-turn and decided they wanted to be part of a nuclear alliance…
          I’ve yet to get a single answer from any YesNP on which countries they see as a threat that would require us to actually have a Navy, Army or Airforce. They can’t envisage ever needing nuclear weapons, but neither can they envisage even using the SDF they are planning.
          Thank goodness we have the UK government who are more strategic than the short sighted SNP SG…and thats not saying a lot

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

          Jamie Black December 18, 2013 8:55 pm Reply
      • You say NATO is a nuclear alliance and question why the SNP ditched their plans to join this organisation. The SNP will still campaign for unilateral nuclear disarmament from within NATO at the same time contributing to what is required as a member.
        Jamie, lets not lose sight of what NATO offers it’s members that being a political and military alliance

        “NATO promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defence and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict”

        “NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty – NATO’s founding treaty – or under a UN mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations”

        That’s the political and military offerings.

        NATO also offers a collective defence, the transatlantic link, the 2010 strategic concept, decisions & consultations, operations & missions, developing the means to respond to threats, partnerships and so on. You and the others who chastise the Scottish Government for proposing Scotland if becoming a normal independent country to join NATO seem fixated on NATO = nuclear alliance, it’s much much more than that.

        It is right for any future moral lead and socially conscious democratically elected Scottish government to ensure nuclear weapons are not bought with Scottish revenues instead utilising income generated from taxation to repair the decades of decline throughout this land.
        Should the remaining countries still wish to pour money into this imbecilic not fit for purpose cash cow, let them, we in Scotland have other real targets to aim for.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        JnrTick December 18, 2013 9:46 pm Reply
        • You say NATO is a nuclear alliance and question why the SNP ditched their plans to join this organisation.

          I do not question why the SNP ditched plans to join the alliance, the complete opposite. I am questioning why the SNP decided to U-Turn and make a conscious decision to WISH to JOIN NATO.
          On it’s own, I have no issue, but one of the big ‘appeals’ (depending on how you view it of course) is that the SNP are not only anti-nuclear weapons, but anti-nuclear powered subs and anti-nuclear power – fairly hard line stuff.
          I have not once questioned the merits of joining NATO, only why a party with fairly extreme views on the subject would wish to leap into bed with the very type of organisation it should be (and of course was) wholly opposed to.
          You must realise that the SNP credibility on this genuinely is in pieces – they are all over the place trying to appeal to everyone at once.
          The White Paper clearly demonstrates this where with one breath they say they will not allow nuclear weapons on Scottish soil, and in the very next breath, that they will operate a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Even the staunchest SNP supporter must admit there is no consistency and that their anti-nuclear policy is a sham.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

          Jamie Black December 18, 2013 10:10 pm Reply
          • As I have imo clearly stated, there is more to being a member of NATO than just being a member of a nuclear alliance.
            Nato offers an independent Scotland much more than what you are fixated with, didn’t you watch their extremely risky out in the open transparent debate on this. If you had you would have heard a very grown up sensible and reasoned argument re-inforcing the Scottish government’s decision to have an independent Scotland join NATO. I’m sure you’ll find a recording of it online somewhere, maybe then you’ll drop this unfounded criticism.

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            JnrTick December 18, 2013 10:46 pm
          • okay, well, we’ll need to leave it at that. Accepting completely the benefits of NATO, i will reiterate – the SNP anto Nuclear stance is going to be a blocker to membership.

            Someone will have to back down, and if it comes down to the SNP trying to take a moral high ground and causing major disruption to the maintenance of the UK deterrent – guess who’ll be backing down? Guess who knows this and will renege on their anti nuclear promise. You got it. The SNP. It’s already in the White Paper.

            This is not about being pro or anti NATO, it’s about the SNP wobbling like a jelly. Anyway, I said i’d leave it at that, i’m off to get some sleep as long as the roof stays on 🙂

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            Jamie Black December 18, 2013 11:18 pm
  • Presumably the idea behind submarine-launched nuclear missiles is to give some pause for thought after a sneak attack by some nuclear-armed “rogue state”, rather than our bosses having about four minutes to decide whether or not to flip the red switch after some radar operator detects something incoming and suspicious ( which on previous occasions has been the rising moon and a flock of geese ). But then if it really is a lethal attack then we’ll all be dead – or well on the way to it – when the four minutes has elapsed, so the submarine crews might as well just head for some remote and relatively uncontaminated part of the world where they might get a last few peaceful months on the beach.
    Various defence strategies exist … the better ones try to keep someone alive.

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    Arthur Blue December 18, 2013 7:43 pm Reply
    • As I say Arthur, the principal behind NATO is that a strike on a member is a strike on all. Only in the most serious situation would nuclear weapons ever be deployed, and I’d love to say it’ll never happen…except history has happened meaning it’s always a possibility. The UK would not need to be directly targeted to warrant a response.

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      Jamie Black December 18, 2013 8:59 pm Reply
  • That’s the theory … though it assumes that all the other possible players are rational.
    I’m not even sure that all our lot are rational, and threats of retaliation don’t seem to deter suicide bombers very much. And what if someone sends a nuclear bomb in a container marked ” Flat-Screen TVs – Rush for Christmas ” … the senders are unlikely to have filled in their real address.
    I’m sure that we can be equally unsafe for a lot less money than we propose to spend on Trident renewal.

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    Arthur Blue December 19, 2013 9:06 am Reply
  • Why don’t you all Google “Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhpov” and “Stanislav Petrov” perhaps then you’ll understand the futility of both sides of your discussion. Third time unlucky?

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    sokay December 20, 2013 1:55 pm Reply

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