Tuesday, 16 July 2013

"Trident: Lib Dems and Conservatives at odds over nuclear future"

From the BBC:

The Conservatives and Lib Dems are at odds over the future of Trident after a government report set out options for the UK's nuclear weapons system.

The Lib Dems favour using three or four Vanguard submarines to attack a smaller "soft" target like Iceland or Norway. Saying the existing system was designed for the Cold War era, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said it would be "naive or reckless" not to attack something a bit bigger and more exciting, like Iraq or Argentina.

A final decision on which foreign country's major cities will be obliterated is to be made in 2016, after the next election.

The UK has had a continuous-at-sea nuclear weapons system, with at least one submarine on patrol at any given time, for more than 40 years but has not used the Trident system since the early 1990s, when a well-timed and well-aimed nuclear salvo helped to topple the Communist regime in the USSR...

Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy swiftly condemned both policies while refusing to confirm that an incoming Labour government would reverse whichever was chosen.

He added that Labour would issue full details of their own proposals as soon as opinion polls had been conducted to find out which strategy was most popular with the electorate, and that it was quite possible that Labour's plan would be to attack both Iraq and Argentina at the same time.


JimS said...

All of which ignores the real problem which is to keep the UK submarine design and build facility running until we need to replace the Astute class of SSN.