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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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steepholm steepholm
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Trident Tested
I asked this on Facebook yesterday, but so far haven't had any substantive replies, so I thought I'd try my luck here. Though I suspect that in both cases my friends lists may not be the ideal targets for the question.

If there's anyone out there who thinks that renewing Trident is a good idea, I'd love to know what the arguments for it are. The only three I can see are a) it provides employment - which I'm fairly certain could be done in more cost-effective ways, b) it provides a pretext for the UK having a permanent place on the UN Security Council, and c) it means the French haven't got one-up on us. The last two are pretty specious, surely?

So, what are the other arguments? And specifically, what are the arguments that apply to the UK but not to other constitutional democracies that might also wish to have an independent deterrent, and are as threatened if not more so than the UK? Like, shall we say, South Korea? Unless you think S. Korea should have the bomb, in which case feel free to say so.


Two riders: a) note that I'm asking not about NATO membership, but about Trident specifically; b) even if you don't believe in the arguments, if you know what they are I'd still like to hear them.

There's a difference between "are nuclear weapons a good thing?" and "is Trident a good thing?". Trident, being sub-based, has the advantage of people not knowing exactly where it is so it is harder to A) destroy it and B) steal the radioactive stuff. But it is expensive. All I know is that we didn't used to have Trident and we didn't get nuked in the Cold War.

I guess the supporters probably think that if we didn't have it we would be totally dependent on other countries - America, France, for our ultimate defence - which detracts from our sovereignty as a nation state, and do we really want to subcontract (pun intended) our defence to other powers, especially with Mad Donald Trump in charge of the nuclear button?


Yes, I'm not (for the purpose of this question, anyway) asking whether nukes are good thing in general: if we gave up Trident we would still be part of a nuclear-armed alliance in the form of NATO, as you note.

I can see the argument you mention in your second paragraph; but not how one could make it on the UK's behalf and simultaneously argue that most other countries (i.e. all the ones that don't currently have nuclear weapons) should subcontract their defence to foreign powers.

Obviously, as poliphilo points out above, passion and fantasy are as much in play here as anything else, but that's a poor basis for policy. (I've been trawling the net looking for stronger arguments, but so far without success.)