Monday, December 04, 2006
Doesn't The Devil hold a Trident...?
The government proposal is for four new submarines, each one carrying 16 warheads. 64 new nuclear missiles, each one 8 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, seems a hugely unnecessary arsenal. I find myself asking, if it will cost up to £25 billion for them (i.e. £390m each, or £6.24bn per new submarine), why not have half as many, and spend the rest of the money elsewhere?
I may be being a bit naïve, but how many nuclear warheads is it necessary to have? If we have 32 new warheads, nobody is going to be less deterred than before, are they? No would-be attacker is going to think “well, they’d have done some damage with 64 warheads, but with 32, I reckon I could have ‘em...” And we aren’t going to be any less protected, are we? If you think we are, please tell me. Please tell me it’s not so simple.
The Conservatives' Dr Liam Fox talks about “one-sided disarmament,” and I’d agree with him if we were reducing the number of warheads to zero. If Iran and North Korea have the bomb, I’d like us to have it too. But we aren’t talking about reducing the number of warheads to zero. Sir Ming wants 32! That’s 256 times the Hiroshima bomb. Is that not enough Dr Fox? Or do we really need to blow Hiroshima up 512 times?
We can’t act like the world’s policeman, telling Iran and others to stop building nuclear weapons, and maintain any type of credibility, when we’re doing it ourselves. How will this news play in Tehran I wonder? What’s better to strive for – us having 64 warheads and Iran having a few? Or us having less then Iran having none?
And just think what we could do with £12.5bn we’d save. £12.5 BILLION. It could be spent on a phenomenal increase in internal security, intelligence services, or other things that will help protect is against the type of rogue elements seeking to harm us today.