CND has slammed a pro-Trident letter from military figures to the incoming Prime Minister as a ‘desperate echo of the past.’

With Trident replacement remaining a central issue in the run up to the general election, a group of retired military figures has written an open letter stating that it would be ‘irresponsible folly’ not to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system. A parliamentary vote on Trident replacement is due in 2016.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

‘You can tell the establishment is getting the shakes when they trot out a letter like this. The £100bn question of Trident replacement continues to dominate the election – and it’s clear that millions of people up and down the UK are challenging the need to spend these vast sums in straitened times on a weapons system designed for another era.

‘What’s also clear is that there’s no consensus in the military establishment on Trident. In fact other senior military figures, including the former Head of the Armed Forces, have described Trident as “completely useless” to the threats we face, and “virtually irrelevant except in the context of domestic politics.”

‘Many in the military are warning of Trident’s impact on the armed forces – which are being diminished precisely to pay for this totem of Cold War insecurity.

‘Nuclear weapons do not protect us from terrorism, from climate change, from natural disasters, from cyber warfare. Instead they merely provoke other states to seek nuclear weapons and create further global insecurity.

‘And we must ask ourselves, who really profits from Trident replacement? The arms companies who build it. Sections of the military who reassert their centrality through fear-mongering and a desperate echo of the past. The politicians who strut internationally with inflated self-importance.

‘But it is not the British public who profit: we gain neither wealth nor security. Instead we are told that our public services must be ransacked, that the NHS must be slashed, that working families must use foodbanks: all to spend £100bn on something which belongs in a museum.’