uk trident

Op-Ed: David Cameron’s nuclear fantasy land

David Cameron insists we must replace the Trident nuclear weapon system because the future is uncertain. None of us has a crystal ball so we had better keep Trident just in case. He points to the dangerous escalation of tension by the Kim regime in North Korea and Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme as justification. All well and good, until you scratch beneath the surface and realise what a highly contingent argument this is for the economic, political, opportunity, and moral costs at stake (yes, moral, because the practice of ‘nuclear deterrence’ rests inescapably on the threat of use – the threat of indiscriminate and catastrophic nuclear violence).

Beyond the Trident Alternatives Review

This brief, authored by Dr. Nick Ritchie, outlines opportunities and challenges arising from the UK government's ongoing Trident Alternatives Review. This briefing critiques weaknesses within the current thinking around Trident, outlines the key issues that need to be addressed, and highlights the opportunities that Britain has to demonstrate leadership on nuclear disarmament. Ritchie claims that this is a unique opportunity in the UK for an informed debate and addresses the key questions:

Deterrence, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and UK Trident

This discussion paper is the fourth in a series and outlines the emergence of Britain's nuclear deterrence posture and thinking over the last seventy years, and how successive governments have sought to balance this with effective non-proliferation diplomacy.  Professor Simpson's paper outlines the evolution of Britain's twin-track approach of trying to address its own national security whilst strengthening global security through multilateral nuclear disarmament, and asks whether this approach has a sustained future ahead.

BASIC News: July - September 2012

UN First Committee and NATO Defence Ministers meeting

The United Nations General Assembly First Committee opens today in New York, the UN forum for disarmament and international security affairs. Its month-long session contains an ambitious program of work, including discussion on nuclear weapons and other WMDs, in the weaponisation of space, conventional weapons, regional disarmament and security, and disarmament machinery (conventions and treaties).

Labour Party defence in the debate on Trident

This week the Labour Party conference continues in Manchester. Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy spoke this morning with a focus on defence spending and support for service personnel. However, the future of Britain’s nuclear arsenal hit the headlines in this year’s conference season, with last week’s headlines reporting comments from recent Defence Minister Nick Harvey about the government’s review on Trident alternatives at the Liberal Democrats conference.

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