Ahead of today’s National Security Strategy announcement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has warned that the bedrock of the strategy must move beyond preparation for the type of state-on-state conflict which dominated Cold War military thinking.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “Despite the addition of cyber-terrorism to the new strategy, the defences of the UK still look set to be based predominantly around preparing for major state-on-state conflict. Escaping from this ‘Cold War comfort zone’, which places nuclear weapons at its pinnacle is necessary if the UK is to help move the world beyond the threatening postures that shaped much of the last century.
“The retirement of a number of weapon systems designed to fight the Soviet Union is to be welcomed. But by holding on to the notion that the UK must prepare for an imminent and unexplained threat from Russia or China, Britain risks stoking the very tensions it seeks to avoid. Regarding Trident as the one immovable element around which all other plans must fit shows just how conservative the thinking behind this process has been. Britain’s continued deployment of nuclear weapons in the Atlantic, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – a stance unchanged since the 60s – is just the sort of posture that could escalate a regional conflict into a nuclear war.
“Every pound squandered on Trident is a pound unavailable to deal with genuine threats to British security – which go far beyond potential military threats to include survival issues like climate change. With the running costs of the current Trident system – let alone building a replacement – equal to the whole running costs of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ combined, it is no surprise that the majority of the public, along with a growing number of military leaders see nuclear weapons as a costly distraction.”
Response meeting in Parliament tonight
CND will host a Parliamentary meeting tonight which will respond to the NSS and look ahead to the further announcements this week. Speakers include Cathy Jamieson MP (Labour), Tessa Munt MP (Lib Dem), Caroline Lucas MP (Green) and Professor John Foster, author of ‘Trident, jobs and the UK economy.’
Title: Is it time to scrap Trident?
Time: 6pm, Monday 18th October
Location: Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House