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    (Original post by marcusfox)

    It is relevant to the point I was making, that countries who sell or otherwise place weapons at the disposal of other nations have little control of their subsequent use.
    Do your truly think there's no scope difference between some Exocets flogged by the French (and especially with their long history of moral indifference to the conduct of the purchasers of their weapon systems) and the delivery of Trident nuclear weapons from the US to the UK?? It's a ridiculous comparison.
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    (Original post by sevchenko)
    Britain can make the difference. Lets stop developing these WMD's and set the example and make a statement that history will remember. We Brits had the common sense to choose peace instead of war.
    It doesn't matter what we choose; it matters what our enemies choose - we saw that for sure in 1939. North Korea isn't following our lead on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, democracy, freedom of travel, property rights, freedom to trade, right to a fair trial, right to life, protection from cruel and usual punishments, presumption of innocence, equality under the law or freedom of thought; what, pray tell, makes you think that Kim Jung Un will start acting like a decent human being in the event that we in the West throw away our weapons?
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    (Original post by Nick100)
    It doesn't matter what we choose; it matters what our enemies choose - we saw that for sure in 1939. North Korea isn't following our lead on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, democracy, freedom of travel, property rights, freedom to trade, right to a fair trial, right to life, protection from cruel and usual punishments, presumption of innocence, equality under the law or freedom of thought; what, pray tell, makes you think that Kim Jung Un will start acting like a decent human being in the event that we in the West throw away our weapons?
    North Korea doesn't even have a proven ability to deliver nukes to a distant target and certainly not to the UK. Unless you are imagining we are some kind of global policeman with Trident? That role supposedly ended in the early 60s.

    Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia - all much more credible threats - North Korea seems to pop up in these discussions as a sort of useful bogey but it's rubbish really.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Instead, we have huge wastes of taxpayers money on a colossal scale for these vile systems. If Trident was ever used, it would end all human life on Planet Earth.
    This is just plain wrong; trident consists of 192 ~500kT thermonuclear weapons; it has a total yield of 96 MT. A total of 2000 nuclear bombs have already been detonated on Earth - many of them substantially less clean than trident - with a combined yield on the order of 150MT. If human life is going to be wiped out it will be by enemy weapons - maybe you should campaign in Russia first considering that they have over 1GT of nuclear weapons and a substantially less liberal government.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    North Korea doesn't even have a proven ability to deliver nukes to a distant target and certainly not to the UK. Unless you are imagining we are some kind of global policeman with Trident? That role supposedly ended in the early 60s.

    Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia - all much more credible threats - North Korea seems to pop up in these discussions as a sort of useful bogey but it's rubbish really.
    Either we allow the South Koreans to have nuclear weapons, or we make it clear to Kim Jung Un that any nuclear attack on South Korea will be met with a nuclear attack on his country. Or should we let a mass murdering communist have a monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region and raze South Korea to the ground?

    It's the principle of the thing; either we have the power to defend ourselves from such maniacs or we hide behind someone else who does. I'd rather the former.
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    (Original post by Nick100)
    This is just plain wrong; trident consists of 192 ~500kT thermonuclear weapons; it has a total yield of 96 MT. A total of 2000 nuclear bombs have already been detonated on Earth - many of them substantially less clean than trident - with a combined yield on the order of 150MT. If human life is going to be wiped out it will be by enemy weapons - maybe you should campaign in Russia first considering that they have over 1GT of nuclear weapons and a substantially less liberal government.
    They were all fired at once were they? And you think that there is some imaginable context where 'our' Trident could be fired alone and not as part of global thermonuclear war with China or Russia on the side of the US?
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    North Korea doesn't even have a proven ability to deliver nukes to a distant target and certainly not to the UK. Unless you are imagining we are some kind of global policeman with Trident? That role supposedly ended in the early 60s.

    Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia - all much more credible threats - North Korea seems to pop up in these discussions as a sort of useful bogey but it's rubbish really.
    Iran and Pakistan have developed into credible threats over time. North Korea may not be able to deliver nuclear strikes right now but how can you predict where they are heading or when they will become a credible threat to the UK? North Korea is showing all the signs of being very dangerous in the future so it seems perfectly logical for it to pop up in a discussions like this.
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    (Original post by Nick100)
    Either we allow the South Koreans to have nuclear weapons, or we make it clear to Kim Jung Un that any nuclear attack on South Korea will be met with a nuclear attack on his country. Or should we let a mass murdering communist have a monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region and raze South Korea to the ground?

    It's the principle of the thing; either we have the power to defend ourselves from such maniacs or we hide behind someone else who does. I'd rather the former.
    When you say "we", are you talking about Britain? This thread is about renewing the UK Trident missile system. The points you are raising about NK and SK are irrelevant, they are within the orbit of US command, unless we were part of some overall taskforce. I don't know what the ratio is of existing long-range US nuclear weapons able to destroy North Korea is to the number of alleged nukes capable of deliver by NK, but presumably it's something like 1:10000 (US:NK) or more. It's not quite clear why in this situation it requires a UK nuclear force??
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    (Original post by Emmie3303)
    Iran and Pakistan have developed into credible threats over time. North Korea may not be able to deliver nuclear strikes right now but how can you predict where they are heading or when they will become a credible threat to the UK? North Korea is showing all the signs of being very dangerous in the future so it seems perfectly logical for it to pop up in a discussions like this.
    It's laughably unlikely that the US will allow such a situation to emerge, but even if it did, and NK nukes could span the globe, what possible role could an alleged UK deterrent have compared to US might in deterring North Korea??
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    I've already given a wide range of credible reasons why the independence point is a myth and nothing you've said, despite all your hifalutin blather (and LOL some of that - you sound like a 50-year old Tory politician, are you in training for Conservative Central Office??), makes the least credible difference to it.

    In fact, most of your 'arguments' are straight out of the standard nuclear weapon hawk songbook and you either believe all this guff without engaging your brain, or you question it. I admire your touching faith in the authorities anyway, in the same way I admire the naivete of a young child believing in Santa Claus.
    No, you have given a wide range of opinions. They are not reasons, and they are not credible.

    Simply stating 'I have done this' doesn't make it so, since all you have used is a journalistic opinion piece where the strongest opinion he is willing to make is 'it is unlikely', and another where Greenpeace and an anti-nuclear activist go up against the government with nothing but their opinion and come off second best, as every one of their arguments is comfortably rebutted with facts in the second half of the source.

    It's ironic that you claim that I believe all this without engaging my brain. I am simply asking myself what is most likely position. I can look at the evidence and consider the arguments.

    We have a nuclear deterrent which relies on the principle of the weapons being based on a strategic and undetectable hidden platform (stealthy submarines) which means that the possibility of all of them being taken out by a first strike from a significantly more powerful adversary is unlikely, because if their location is unknown, it will be extremely unlikely for them to be taken out by a nuclear strike.

    I ask myself, which is most likely.

    1 - The UK has full control over the weapons, and they can be launched by the submarine, either on the direct order of HM government, or in the event of HM government being destroyed in a surprise attack after following procedure to ensure that the UK government no longer exists, they can be launched independently on the basis of the codes and orders issued before departure.

    2 - The UK does not have full control over the weapons, and they cannot be launched by the submarine without the Americans giving permission. In the event of HM government (and/or the American Government) being destroyed in a surprise attack they just sit there uselessly, because the means to issue the firing orders and thus launch the missiles no longer exists, removing the whole deterrent rationale for having a hidden sea based nuclear strike force at an unknown location.

    You are going with option two, obviously.

    While I are always glad to have young people participating in debates, its with the proviso that they keep the debate at an adult level.

    You have so far used silly insults against those who disagree with you and members of the armed forces.

    Have made silly statements with no cites (opinion does not count as a cite) to back them up.

    When called on to your silly statements and insults, continue to insist on them as fact, in spite of other posters telling you otherwise, and have pretended to be shorthanding or paraphrasing in an attempt to avoid having to concede the point.

    Perhaps you have been a little bit too ambitious taking part in a discussion between adults as you appear to be more then a little out of your depth when it comes to sensible argument.

    It is to your credit that you have actually made the attempt to participate, but I think that its more then likely that your parents would prefer you to concentrate on your schoolwork for the time being, and maybe enter the forum of ideas in a few years time.

    All young people nowadays are encouraged to feel confident in their abilities, but while this is good for their self esteem, in many cases (such as yours for example), it simply doesn't come up to the mark, abilitywise.

    Don't lose hope, I fully expect you to be a fully lucid, persuasive and knowledable debater at some time in the future .

    But that time is not now.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    It's laughably unlikely that the US will allow such a situation to emerge, but even if it did, and NK nukes could span the globe, what possible role could an alleged UK deterrent have compared to US might in deterring North Korea??
    Plenty of situations where they could want to hit the US's closest allies. They may well make the calculation they could hit an ally and the US won't strike back over anything less than a direct attack on them. I believe there were similar fears in quite a few countries that the US would not get into a nuclear war with Russia over anything less than a direct attack during the cold war.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    It's laughably unlikely that the US will allow such a situation to emerge, but even if it did, and NK nukes could span the globe, what possible role could an alleged UK deterrent have compared to US might in deterring North Korea??
    So if the US has this all encompassing control over world affairs then they must have allowed Iran and Pakistan to become a threat willingly then?

    A UK deterrent prevents North Korea from attacking the UK. It's fairly simple really. There is no clearer message than Trident and if we have the ability to protect ourselves instead of relying on other countries then why should we not do so? Even if the US promised to protect us that would require states like North Korea buying into the strength of our alliance and as things stand I'm not sure that we even buy into it.

    With Trident a direct attack on the UK for whatever reason always has the potential to result in the destruction of whoever launched the missiles. Without Trident that is no longer a certainty as it would require another country like the US committing themselves to protect a nation that technically wouldn't exist anymore in the same form it did before. If rogue states and other nuclear powers can see a potential loophole where attacking the UK or another country that the US has promised to protect would not necessarily result in retaliation then the power of the deterrent is lost. That's why the UK needs an effective deterrent.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    No, you have given a wide range of opinions. They are not reasons, and they are not credible.

    Simply stating 'I have done this' doesn't make it so, since all you have used is a journalistic opinion piece where the strongest opinion he is willing to make is 'it is unlikely', and another where Greenpeace and an anti-nuclear activist go up against the government with nothing but their opinion and come off second best, as every one of their arguments is comfortably rebutted with facts in the second half of the source.

    It's ironic that you claim that I believe all this without engaging my brain. I am simply asking myself what is most likely position. I can look at the evidence and consider the arguments.

    We have a nuclear deterrent which relies on the principle of the weapons being based on a strategic and undetectable hidden platform (stealthy submarines) which means that the possibility of them being taken out by a tactical first strike is unlikely, because if their location is unknown, it will be extremely unlikely for them to be taken out by a nuclear strike.

    I ask myself, which is most likely.

    1 - The UK has full control over the weapons, and they can be launched by the submarine, either on the direct order of HM government, or in the event of HM government being destroyed in a surprise attack after following procedure to ensure that the UK government no longer exists, they can be launched independently on the basis of the codes and orders issued before departure.

    2 - The UK does not have full control over the weapons, and they cannot be launched by the submarine without the Americans giving permission. In the event of HM government (and/or the American Government) being destroyed in a surprise attack they just sit there uselessly, because the means to issue the firing orders and thus launch the missiles no longer exists, removing the whole deterrent rationale for having a hidden sea based nuclear strike force at an unknown location.

    You are going with option two, obviously.

    While I are always glad to have young people participating in debates, its with the proviso that they keep the debate at an adult level.

    You have so far used silly insults against those who disagree with you and members of the armed forces.

    Have made silly statements with no cites (opinion does not count as a cite) to back them up.

    When called on to your silly statements and insults, continue to insist on them as fact, in spite of other posters telling you otherwise, and have pretended to be shorthanding or paraphrasing in an attempt to avoid having to concede the point.

    Perhaps you have been a little bit too ambitious taking part in a discussion between adults as you appear to be more then a little out of your depth when it comes to sensible argument.

    It is to your credit that you have actually made the attempt to participate, but I think that its more then likely that your parents would prefer you to concentrate on your schoolwork for the time being, and maybe enter the forum of ideas in a few years time.

    All young people nowadays are encouraged to feel confident in their abilities, but while this is good for their self esteem, in many cases (such as yours for example), it simply doesn't come up to the mark, abilitywise.

    Don't lose hope, I fully expect you to be a fully lucid, persuasive and knowledable debater at some time in the future .

    But that time is not now.
    There isn't any meaningful content in most of the above. Clearly you're trying to get a rise out of me, but just want to say, it's not working.

    The only relevant bit was your numbered items, but I have to say, putting to one side the complexity of survivability and removal of top command from strikes, etc, they rather support the notion that there is no genuine independence, don't they? You seem to be realising that the question of overall control is vested in some kind of joint command between the US and the UK, am I right? Or do you firmly believe that the UK could use these things utterly without recourse to the US in NORMAL conditions, eg, not in a complex situation where one or other top-level power has been toppled?
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Do your truly think there's no scope difference between some Exocets flogged by the French (and especially with their long history of moral indifference to the conduct of the purchasers of their weapon systems) and the delivery of Trident nuclear weapons from the US to the UK?? It's a ridiculous comparison.
    The scope difference doesn't matter.

    In both cases, all I had to do was show that the principle is the same.

    Weapons delivered into the hands of other states will no longer be directly controlled by the original state, and while the former state may be able to exert some aspect of political pressure as a means of indirectly controlling them, that is about all they can do.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    They were all fired at once were they? And you think that there is some imaginable context where 'our' Trident could be fired alone and not as part of global thermonuclear war with China or Russia on the side of the US?
    The 50MT Tsar bomb was a single bomb (which was tested - you can see it on Youtube) with half of the yield of the entire Trident arsenal and yet it did not render half the world uninhabitable. Trident cannot destroy the human race, and we need it because it would be unacceptable for us to be at the mercy of a nuclear armed enemy.

    When you say "we", are you talking about Britain? This thread is about renewing the UK Trident missile system. The points you are raising about NK and SK are irrelevant, they are within the orbit of US command, unless we were part of some overall taskforce. I don't know what the ratio is of existing long-range US nuclear weapons able to destroy North Korea is to the number of alleged nukes capable of deliver by NK, but presumably it's something like 1:10000 (US:NK) or more. It's not quite clear why in this situation it requires a UK nuclear force??
    It requires a UK nuclear force because soon the US may be in range of North Korea and thus the DPRK will be able to deter a US counterattack if it decides to destroy South Korea. Besides that; if we agree that the West should have nuclear weapons then we should have nuclear weapons being as we are the second (or third - it alternates with France) most powerful state in NATO.

    Also, we don't know the future. Compare the world of 1913 to the world of 1963. Fifty years is a long time.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Plenty of situations where they could want to hit the US's closest allies. They may well make the calculation they could hit an ally and the US won't strike back over anything less than a direct attack on them. I believe there were similar fears in quite a few countries that the US would not get into a nuclear war with Russia over anything less than a direct attack during the cold war.
    In those scenarios, the UK weapons were just being used as part of an overall US wargame plan, in much the same way that the Soviets maintained the myth of 'separate' Ukrainian weapons. At least, I think that's what you're describing - maybe there are some scenarios where the UK could have been left alone, but it's doubtful that cold war planners would have approached anything like that without treating the UK arsenal as part of a global US warplan.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    The scope difference doesn't matter.

    In both cases, all I had to do was show that the principle is the same.

    Weapons delivered into the hands of other states will no longer be directly controlled by the original state, and while the former state may be able to exert some aspect of political pressure as a means of indirectly controlling them, that is about all they can do.
    There's no common principle between the two! Nuclear weapons are utterly different.
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    Replace Trident with TSR virgins. We plant them in Russia, all the women run away screaming, the birth rate drops catastrophically, country collapses.
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    (Original post by Nick100)

    It requires a UK nuclear force because soon the US may be in range of North Korea and thus the DPRK will be able to deter a US counterattack if it decides to destroy South Korea. Besides that; if we agree that the West should have nuclear weapons then we should have nuclear weapons being as we are the second (or third - it alternates with France) most powerful state in NATO.
    That's just an argument for distributing US weapons around the planet, something they already do - the issue in the thread is the separate UK deterrent, yes or no? I think you're accepting that the UK weapons are part of the overall US defence plan or strategy by the sound of it.

    However, it is also plain that North Korea plays a useful role in scaring people - if it did not exist, it would be necessary for the nuclear powers to invent it.

    (Original post by Nick100)
    Also, we don't know the future. Compare the world of 1913 to the world of 1963. Fifty years is a long time.
    Ah yes, the "it's all going to be different in the future" argument. Well, apart from a few small nuclear states which represent a trivial threat, like Pakistan (biggest threat there is probably that the weapons will be seized by the Taliban and used to blow up Delhi) the nuclear world is not that dissimilar right now to 50 years ago, other than that the threat of nuclear war appears to have lessened and the two largest participants, the US and Russia, have been busy making deep arsenal cuts.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    There isn't any meaningful content in most of the above. Clearly you're trying to get a rise out of me, but just want to say, it's not working.

    The only relevant bit was your numbered items, but I have to say, putting to one side the complexity of survivability and removal of top command from strikes, etc, they rather support the notion that there is no genuine independence, don't they? You seem to be realising that the question of overall control is vested in some kind of joint command between the US and the UK, am I right? Or do you firmly believe that the UK could use these things utterly without recourse to the US in NORMAL conditions, eg, not in a complex situation where one or other top-level power has been toppled?
    You are ignorant of the fact that any scenario that calls upon the UK to use its nuclear capability in anger would not be a NORMAL condition. If you are saying that the PM could wake up tomorrow and press a button and Syria would go boom, no, of course that isn't going to happen.

    Notwithstanding that, any decision to use them would likely be based on a political consultation between the leaders of the UK and those of the US and other nuclear armed states of NATO, but the decision on the UK's nuclear weapons ultimately lies with the UK.

    Realistically speaking, the UK is unlikely to go ahead and launch unless the US concurs with that decision, but that is purely a political matter.

    However, to say that this is equivalent to the Americans having a technical 'safety switch' to override any subsequent launch authorisation has no basis in reality, and is just uninformed speculation.

    Speculation which you can claim until you are blue in the face, but without direct evidence that it exists will be impossible to prove.

    As a practical point, if the system you claim were to exist, it would require in all circumstances at minimum a code to be transmitted to the submarine before a missile could be fired, and thus the deterrent rationale of the independent launch by the senior officers on board the submarine in the event of a devastating first strike against land based command assets is wiped out at a stroke.
 
 
 
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