British nuclear weapons, expensive and dangerous

This 2q8 January 2015 vide from England is called Wrap Up Trident CND mass demonstration in London.

By Rae Street in Britain:

Corbyn brings much-needed sanity to the nukes debate

Wednesday 6th January 2015

Sanity. That was the name of the first magazine of the newly formed Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in 1958.

The aims of the campaign were sane then and they are sane now. Frank Allaun in 1981 said clearly:

– No Cruise missiles on British territory

– No Trident submarines to replace Polaris

– No other nuclear weapons on British soil or in British waters

– No bases in the UK for British or American nuclear weapons

– A cut in arms spending.

The Cruise weapons have gone after a 1987 treaty, but with the rest we are still struggling. Why? Out there is mindless militarism, some sense that these weapons give us power at the top tables, desire for world domination and power over resources by forces in the US and Nato.

The case against nuclear weapons was made by so many different groups and individuals over the decades, yet still we have those in government not only backing Britain’s part in the US Trident nuclear armed submarines fleet, but also in nuclear armed Nato.

Jeremy Corbyn, who refuses to say he would press the nuclear button, is lambasted as a danger to security, unpatriotic and hard left.

It is worth looking back at earlier statements. In 1981, a group of scientists and physicians published a summary on their findings on the medical consequences of nuclear weapons. Their conclusions were: “The devastation that would follow a nuclear war would be so appalling that it is virtually impossible to imagine. It does appear, however, that the situation has changed from one in which nuclear war was unthinkable because it meant mutually assured destruction to one in which nuclear war not only has become thinkable but also more likely from changes in strategy and weapons technology.”

The authors ended: “An examination of the facts leads to one inescapable conclusion. If for none other than purely medical reasons, nuclear warfare must never be allowed to happen; it is not an option that can be contemplated by any government, however dire the circumstances.”

This was written over 30 years ago. Since that time nuclear weapons development has escalated. Trident missiles can carry multiple warheads, each of which has 15 times the killing power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Consider also a pamphlet from Scientists Against Nuclear Arms written in 1984, entitled Nuclear Winter: A New Dimension for the Nuclear Debate.

The introduction states: “Recent studies have shown that the survivors of the direct effects of even a ‘limited’ nuclear war could face months of darkness and freezing cold … Civilised life as we know it would come to an end.”

It adds: “Even without the nuclear winter, one to two billion people — between a quarter and a half of the world’s population — are likely to perish after a global nuclear war. Nuclear winter threatens the survival of the rest.”

Look too at the argument in It Couldn’t Happen — Could It? An Assessment of the Probability of Accidental Nuclear War, by Anne Grinyer and Paul Smoker (1986).

The authors conclude “It is not logical or sensible to maintain a national security policy in which catastrophic failure is a distinct possibility. If the evidence concerning unintended nuclear war is valid then, given inevitable failures in mechanical, electrical, human and political systems that are likely to occur at some time in the future, nuclear “deterrence” must be replaced by alternative national and global security strategies, strategies that do not include the possibility of unintended nuclear war.”

Add to that the fact that the cost of Trident replacement now “necessary” is a whopping £167 billion and nuclear weapons do not deter any fanatical terrorists. How could anyone with a clear head support nuclear arms?

Given the above, it is clear that Jeremy’s stand is overwhelmingly sane. The accusations repeated on New Year’s Day by Peter Mandelson that Jeremy’s opinions are those of the “hard left” are just empty sloganeering. As for those opposed to Jeremy being called “moderates,” including those who would press the nuclear button, it is a travesty of the use of the English language.

The stationing of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula would be a major escalation of the US military build-up in Asia, directed primarily against China, not North Korea: here.

11 thoughts on “British nuclear weapons, expensive and dangerous

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  2. Monday 18th January 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    Defence hawks admit Corbyn’s stance is nothing out of the ordinary

    by Conrad Landin and Luke James

    DEFENCE hawks who want Britain to spend more than £100 billion renewing its nuclear arsenal admitted this weekend that they would never “push the button” themselves.

    Royal United Services Institute deputy director-general Malcolm Chalmers said he did not think “most British prime ministers … since we acquired nuclear weapons” would have been prepared to use them, even if Britain itself faced a nuclear attack.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been singled out for criticism for saying that he would not fire Britain’s Trident missiles under any circumstances.

    Mr Corbyn was sticking to his principles yesterday, telling Andrew Marr on his BBC show: “Greater security in the world is not achieved by nuclear weapons.”

    Speaking at the Fabian Society conference, Mr Chalmers claimed that whether or not weapons were actually deployed was irrelevant as “retention of Trident is about deterrence, and it’s about psychology.”

    David Clark, who worked as an aide to the late Labour foreign secretary Robin Cook, said: “For a deterrent to work doesn’t require leaders to press buttons — it requires the capability, combined with uncertainty in the mind of an adversary, about your intentions, which is why sensible leaders never get into a position of answering the question of whether they would press the button.”

    CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “The panel’s responses just underline the real problem of basing Britain’s security on a ‘will they, won’t they?’ game of bluff.

    “Sometimes people talk about it as if we have them in order not to use them. Well, why not not have them and not use them?”

    The debate came a day after Labour launched its defence policy review, which will determine the party’s position on Trident.

    Shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry, who will lead the review, revealed that she had changed her position on nuclear weapons.

    “In the 1980s I was in favour of Trident because there were two sides, life was very different. But actually life has moved on since 2007,” she told the BBC Daily Politics.

    “Life has certainly moved on since the 1980s and I think the time has come for us to have a debate about what the 21st-century threats are which does include whether or not the appropriate response is Trident.”


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