Deterrence

Trident is an abomination.

I do not believe in the deterrent effect of possessing nuclear weapons. If the horror of using them, the death and destruction caused, the poisons released into the atmosphere, the damage to the world economy and reciprocal trading, do not deter the master of nuclear weapons, the threat of retaliation cannot.

I have not heard this argument put before.

Duval, La naissance de Venus

 

5 thoughts on “Deterrence

  1. It’s a very strong argument, and one I have also thought of recently. Why should Russia and China attack the very countries they have massive investments widely tied up in; the UK and the USA? Why should the UK and the USA ever launch an attack upon those countries when they are now so economically reliant upon them?

    In the post cold war world, nuclear weapons are not a deterrent, not that they ever were. Britain’s possession of nuclear weapons never deterred Argentina from marching into the Falkland Islands in 1982, just as they never deterred the USA from marching into the British dependency of Grenada the following year. More recently Geoff Hoon is on record of saying that nuclear weapons are a vital deterrent in the war against terrorism. Ermm, how exactly? The USA possesses the largest stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and that did not prevent the most devastaing terrorist attacks of all time, just as the UK ‘deterrent’ never deterred the 7/7 bombers. If anything the money spent on our ‘independent’ nuclear deterrent (which we would need the US launch codes for, so it’s not independent) and over-reliance on missile technology means less money for conventional forces, which are infinitely more effective in combatting terrorism.

    And Trident has not deterred nor shall it deter Russia from going into Syria, for the simple fact that there’s no way it can ever be used. If Vladimir Putin thought for one moment that the UK would retaliate against him with nuclear weapons for going into Syria, he would never have taken that step. He may be a crazy bastard, but he’s frankly not THAT crazy.

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    • I think it possible that Mr Putin, finding power slipping from his grasp, might decide to go out in a blaze of- well, not glory exactly; take everyone else with him; be egotistical enough to fire off the rockets in rage. Until that moment, however, he will push it as far as he wants, perhaps even invading the Baltic states; nuclear weapons will not stop him.

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  2. I don’t like threats of any kind…having or threatening to have or being suspected of having nuclear weapons is a threat – because of the sheer horror we know they can cause…

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