Monday, 8 February 2016

The Deterrent of Democracy


There's an perversity about democracy in the UK; we decry cuts to the NHS and social care funding, yet most can be relied on to vote for lower taxes and connive to get the taxpayer to fund care for their elderly through tax avoidance schemes concerning inheritances and rearranging the ownership of their elderly parents' houses.

Was listening to Any Questions on Radio 4 on Saturday and the issue of the Trident nuclear deterrent came up. The hoary old cliche that a nuclear deterrent is useless against terrorism was trotted out by one member of the panel. Do these people think terrorism is the only form of warfare? Do they think that if Russia gets too big for its boots Putin is going to send terrorist suicide bombers against NATO?

Since the development of the nuclear deterrent the UK has not been directly threatened by a nation state. This may be due to a number of reasons, including the fact we have a nuclear deterrent, although granted I would list this pretty low down on the possible reasons to date. Conventional warfare between countries has not suddenly and miraculously been eliminated and, on the balance of probabilities (although it seems inconceivable at the moment), there will be another conventional war with some nearby nation within the next 50 years or so.

The corollary of not having a nuclear deterrent is to massively increase conventional forces, if one is to have a credible defence strategy at all, thus not renewing Trident has adverse cost implications anyway.

In all probability, Israel would have been wiped off the map already if it didn't have a nuclear deterrent. That said, a deterrent in itself is useless - it has to be combined with a leader who any enemy knows is prepared to use it. Without such a leader it's a costly white elephant.

I leave you to draw your conclusions as to whether a nuclear deterrent is necessary. I believe the question is not whether it is necessary, but what we are prepared to pay for it and whether Trident is the most cost-effective option.

Watched 'World War Three: Inside the War Room' last night on iPlayer. It seems to me that NATO's current weakness is having members with large, ethnic Russian minorities. The Baltic States need to integrate these ethnic Russians ASAP to preclude any pretext for Russian aggression. If that can't be done, then NATO has a bomb in its midst. The irony of the situation is that ethnic Russians are increasingly entering the Baltic States today precisely to escape Putin's corrupt rule.


8 comments:

  1. Having mentioned 'conventional weapons' I presume that this also includes the bombs, bullets and shells of Q material i.e depleted uranium ?

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  2. The dust of which causes cancer and that is very conventional.

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    Replies
    1. And a small dose of radiation, along with other effects.

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    2. There again, a bullet isn't going to do you much good either.

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  3. The D.U. bullet kills the person who gets hit, then the dust kills his children and poisons the land.

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    1. Land mines have a residual effect too, as do unexploded bombs.

      War should not be considered lightly, as I'm sure you will agree.

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    2. Land mines have a residual effect too, as do unexploded bombs.

      War should not be considered lightly, as I'm sure you will agree.

      Delete