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Trident is more important than ever. Watch

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    (Original post by 2468_James_Maaay)
    Watch this in full

    If you don't find this depressing, you're a moron.
    It'd be a damn shame if we scrapped Trident and left ourselves defenceless to this.
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    It seems to me that nuclear weapons are a deterrent, no? They will become (if there aren't already) pretty redundant, as many other countries are now gaining these weapons - so using them would probably lead to mutual destruction.
    Then, actually having trident is pointless, it seems, the most important thing is that everyone believes you have it. Why not use some of the budget to fabricate the story that trident is being 'updated' when it is in fact being phased out.

    Obviously, I guess that would only happen In an ideal world where one needn't worry about security leaks, and in such a world, no one would have nukes anyway...

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    (Original post by NJam)
    Why not use some of the budget to fabricate the story that trident is being 'updated' when it is in fact being phased out.
    How do you know that's not what is happening already?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    How do you know that's not what is happening already?
    Haha, very good point :-).

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    (Original post by Drewski)
    How do you know that's not what is happening already?
    Because I think somebody at Faslane Naval base, Coulport ammunition base and Aldermaston might suspect something and talk
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    When I read the title I thought this thread was about the chewing gum brand.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Because I think somebody at Faslane Naval, Coulport ammunition base and Aldermaston might suspect something and talk
    Everyone signs the OSA - I have, you have - who really knows?

    Just conjecture, ofc, but...
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Everyone signs the OSA - I have, you have - who really knows?

    Just conjecture, ofc, but...
    So we'll keep several thousand people quiet?:confused:
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Do you seriously, in your wildest imaginings, think that the US would allow the UK to decide on a nuclear launch without them deciding?

    I am actually sceptical that there is even a UK ability to launch. My attitude would be "prove it". I suspect it's all controlled from the Pentagon.
    As referring to your previous comments, it warms my heart to know I'm always amongst your thoughts.

    Referring to your conspiracy theory, it is not for anyone to 'prove' anything but you. It is commonly accepted that those who make the claim are expected to support their position, not for others to prove it false. But I think you will struggle with that, notwithstanding the usual nutjob claims on loony fringe websites.

    I find it a little ironic that you so easily rubbish claims made with peer reviewed research when the conclusions don't suit your own prejudices, and then we are expected to swallow this laughable theory of yours on the basis of what evidence exactly?
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    As referring to your previous comments, it warms my heart to know I'm always amongst your thoughts.

    Referring to your conspiracy theory, it is not for anyone to 'prove' anything but you. It is commonly accepted that those who make the claim are expected to support their position, not for others to prove it false. But I think you will struggle with that, notwithstanding the usual nutjob claims on loony fringe websites.

    I find it a little ironic that you so easily rubbish claims made with peer reviewed research when the conclusions don't suit your own prejudices, and then we are expected to swallow this laughable theory of yours on the basis of what evidence exactly?
    Sigh. I already quoted a number of sources. Marcus, you don't make progress in debates by using phrases like "your own prejudices" all the time, stick to the facts and stop making endless personal remarks. However, I am grateful that you kept this one within 3,500 words, thanks!

    OMG. I just realised I may be the only one in this thread who has not signed the OSA.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Sigh. I already quoted a number of sources. Marcus, you don't make progress in debates by using phrases like "your own prejudices" all the time, stick to the facts and stop making endless personal remarks. However, I am grateful that you kept this one within 3,500 words, thanks!

    OMG. I just realised I may be the only one in this thread who has not signed the OSA.
    Besides the nutjob theories, which sources are you relying on, exactly?

    I have read the whole thread, and nothing you have provided indicates either (a) that we don't have launch capability for the missiles and (b) it's all controlled from the Pentagon.

    Lets have a rundown on what you have provided to back this up:

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/45...uclear-defence - basically an opinion piece by Crispin Black, and all the points you have raised have been dismissed by other posters, i.e. what exactly can the Russians do with serial numbers?

    He makes specious claims based on wishy washy opinion "it is unlikely that a British prime minister could even launch them" which has about as much weight as your 'prove it' claim above.

    See that word, 'unlikely'? He really doesn't know, either way

    http://www.publications.parliament.u.../986/98607.htm

    69 - Greenpeace? Really? So the UK bases their design on and uses parts in the same manner as the American system means what?
    70 - LOL. Dan Plesch, School of Oriental and African Studies? Dr Plesch read history at Nottingham and obtained professional qualifications in social work and public administration from Bristol in 1979 and 1980, he then worked for non-governmental organisations focused on the abolition of nuclear weapons. What was that you were saying about an agenda? In any case, Mr Plesch has about as much authority on the matter as Greenpeace does. So basically the missiles are largely American designed?
    71 - Again, so what if the designs are largely based on the US platform? Greenpeace again eh?

    If you are relying on that document as evidence to support your position, you should note that the remainder from 76-82 actually runs contrary to your claim, and the people backing up their claims in those sections are slightly more qualified on the matter compared to the opinion those two antis from SOAS and Greenpeace. Note that these two use no evidence to make those claims, just what they believe is possibly the case, based on what everyone already knows of Trident being largely an American designed system and then extrapolating wildly.

    You ignore the fact that the whole rationale and methodology of the UK Trident submarine based missile system is that it exists in a completely self contained unit with command (launch) authority separate from any other system, so that if the UK were wiped out and there were no Prime Minister and no US president or respective governments left in existence, the missiles could still be fired by authorisation coming from the submarine captain (already given by a now dead prime minister) days, weeks or even months after a first strike by another nation.

    So it doesn't at all make sense that anyone other than the senior officers on the submarine would have actual launch control over the missiles, regardless of the existence or lack of launch authority from any other source.

    In any case, the questions you have asked us to 'prove' are directly answered here - http://webarchive.nationalarchives.g...lear190705.pdf. That is the conventionally accepted view. If you want to knock that down, you need slightly more than journalistic opinion and mouthpieces for the anti-nuclear movement.

    As opposed to the rest, what exactly is it that you have a problem with about the phrase 'based on your own prejudices'? This is common language used to express the idea that due to someone's own personal and political views, they hold a significant amount of bias, but even more so, that no matter what evidence that people provide to show the contrary, their personal view remains correct and the evidence is nonsense.

    There's nothing wrong with bias, everyone is biased in some way or the other, but as I said, due to prejudice, when faced wiith significant evidence against that view, you continue to hold that contrary position, that your view is correct and the evidence is false.

    Hope that answers your questions
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    I'd rather we spent the billions on creating new jobs
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Besides the nutjob theories, which sources are you relying on, exactly?

    I have read the whole thread, and nothing you have provided indicates either (a) that we don't have launch capability for the missiles and (b) it's all controlled from the Pentagon.
    Sorry, I don't have time to either read or reply to your latest super-missive Marcus, but I can see right at the top that we have problems - I never said the UK doesn't have "launch capability", I'm arguing (correctly) that it is incredibly, ludicrously unlikely that politically, locked into Nato and the US global system as we are, we could ever launch separately and under some kind of "independent" initiative. On the Pentagon point, I of course meant that as an amusing remark - I am shorthanding for the White House, Nato, the global US security apparatus, the NSA, the US apparatus in Europe and the UK that ensures compliance, etc, etc.
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    What? Better get rid of my Wrigleys Extra and get me some of this Trident.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Sorry, I don't have time to either read or reply to your latest super-missive Marcus, but I can see right at the top that we have problems - I never said the UK doesn't have "launch capability", I'm arguing (correctly) that it is incredibly, ludicrously unlikely that politically, locked into Nato and the US global system as we are, we could ever launch separately and under some kind of "independent" initiative.
    My replies tend to be longer, because unlike you, I prefer to submit a carefully constructed argument that contains content and actual substance to back up my points in order to rebut the veracity of your wafer thin and entirely specious claims and arguments.

    Of course you don't have the time, or indeed the inclination to attempt a rebuttal, because you will end up losing and making yourself look silly with even a minimum of effort.

    You did indeed say that the UK doesn't have launch capability, I refer you to

    If that is not denying launch capability, I don't know what is. You even go on to deny it further above (bold). If you are asserting "arguing correctly", you need to provide more basis to your argument than the opinions of antis from Greenpeace and SOAS, who have very little insight other than their opinions and no evidence whatsoever.

    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    On the Pentagon point, I of course meant that as an amusing remark - I am shorthanding for the White House, Nato, the global US security apparatus, the NSA, the US apparatus in Europe and the UK that ensures compliance, etc, etc.
    Ah, of course you did :rolleyes: I refer you to my previous post about the methodology and rationale behind the Trident system as operated by the UK.

    But then its obvious you have to reiterate that part of your argument, because you 'didn't have time' to read my post which deals with that statement.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    x
    Forgive me if I'm not reading your arguments correctly, but are you in essence making a distinction between a British ability to press a button and make a rocket launch and the political decision process to say 'yes' to pressing the button?

    That we retain the ability to physically launch the rockets whenever we want is, I believe, unquestionable. That our politicians retain independent thought on the matter is, perhaps, something else. However, if it is the case that "they'd want for confirmation" then that is due to the politicians in question, not the rules of the process.


    Because, remember, we have a vast number of US-made or US co-designed weaponry in our military, the use of none of which is materially controlled by the US. The political will to use it, is sometimes influenced by them, however.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Forgive me if I'm not reading your arguments correctly, but are you in essence making a distinction between a British ability to press a button and make a rocket launch and the political decision process to say 'yes' to pressing the button?

    That we retain the ability to physically launch the rockets whenever we want is, I believe, unquestionable. That our politicians retain independent thought on the matter is, perhaps, something else. However, if it is the case that "they'd want for confirmation" then that is due to the politicians in question, not the rules of the process.

    Because, remember, we have a vast number of US-made or US co-designed weaponry in our military, the use of none of which is materially controlled by the US. The political will to use it, is sometimes influenced by them, however.
    Just like the French sold Exocets to the Argentines, the French had very little control over how they were used by the Argentinians in the Falklands.

    That's why Thatcher pressured Mitterand over these using (it is claimed in a biography) a serious implied thread of having the city of Cordoba turned into glass, made very real by nuclear capable bomber flights (obviously minus the actual weapons) over Argentina.

    I don't think you are misreading her because she is using as a basis for her argument this article which the author very clearly claims that actual launch control (as separate from political decision process) rests with the Americans.

    If David Cameron ever had to press the button a light might flash on President Obama's bedside Teasmade but that would be all.
    Notwithstanding that is purely the author's opinion and has no basis in fact, besides being obviously facetious, it still asserts that the UK doesn't have the actual control to launch the weapons.

    If she were accepting of the fact that the UK had the ability to press a button and launch, why use an article that apparently contradicts her position?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Forgive me if I'm not reading your arguments correctly, but are you in essence making a distinction between a British ability to press a button and make a rocket launch and the political decision process to say 'yes' to pressing the button?

    That we retain the ability to physically launch the rockets whenever we want is, I believe, unquestionable. That our politicians retain independent thought on the matter is, perhaps, something else. However, if it is the case that "they'd want for confirmation" then that is due to the politicians in question, not the rules of the process.
    My point is about the existence or otherwise of the concept of 'independent deterrant'. The sentence I've highlighted shows the difficulty in thinking about this clearly. You are saying "launch whenever we want" - that is and always has been a falsehood, perpetrated on the public to keep us compliant, by government after government reluctant to publicly discuss our real role as a tool of US policy in this area. Sorry, but I don't agree that you're on the right track - the fact is, there is no "independence" to the decision - it isn't an independent deterrent. It is a branch of US foreign policy and must be approved by them.

    We then come down to the level of technical issues regarding launch control and the most we can say on that is that there have been many revelations over the years that it is more obscure than is publicly stated what the decision-making process is and that parts of the alleged chain of control are probably not what they seem. One thing is absolutely clear though - the PM does not have the ability to get out of bed one morning, decide to nuke Assad, give the order and Damascus will dissolve in a haze of nuclear dust. Not in any way. He would first have to telephone Obama and ask him if it was OK. Obama would say no and that would be that; the PM could return to his lazy slumbers and get up at midday to play video games, as part of his usual day.

    On the actual nukes and subs themselves, one of the many charming revelations has been the amusing one that came out after that deranged shooting incident that most of the crew are drunk most of the time. :eek: Very reassuring.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Just like the French sold Exocets to the Argentines, the French had very little control over how they were used by the Argentinians in the Falklands.

    That's why Thatcher pressured Mitterand over these using (it is claimed in a biography) a serious implied thread of having the city of Cordoba turned into glass, made very real by nuclear capable bomber flights (obviously minus the actual weapons) over Argentina.
    It was all just bluster - there was never the slightest chance they would use nukes. Can I suggest reading the excellent autobiography of former British Ambassador to Washington, Christopher Meyer? It's a fun read, but it also has all the insider stuff on that story, Meyer knows a lot of the former ambassadors and has a great deal of chit-chat on it.
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    Thought you meant the chewing gum...Trident gum...
 
 
 
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