U.K. promoting Nuclear Proliferation or wise decision?

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uberteknik
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https://www.gov.uk/government/public...foreign-policy

The world is changing: increasingly belligerent and underhand China, acutely disruptive Russia, weakening of the U.s>and E.U., toothless NATO and U.N. Security Councils, the shift of power focus to the Indo-Pacific region, emergence of more authoritarian regimes, a new Middle Eastern arms race, global terrorism intent on acquiring nuclear arms, cyber warfare, intellectual property theft and espionage, climate change, biodiversity loss....

This morning the U.K. Government set out it's Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy well into the 21st century to include increasing our nuclear arsenal by +40% in contravention to pursuing international nuclear non-proliferation.

Is the U.K. correctly positioning itself in the new multi-polar geopolitical world by adopting a position of readiness to deal with the real and developing threats in the future? Or is it setting itself up for ridicule and accusations of irresponsible hypocrisy by contributing more nuclear weapons to an unstable world?

Is it the correct approach to win friends and deter enemies or will it create new enemies and drive the world to a new cold-war with old Russian adversaries and the new emerging Chinese superpower intent on completely disregarding international rules?
Last edited by uberteknik; 1 month ago
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Economixxx
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It is a strange report that appears to have been written by those that cling to dead fantasies of empire and believe that Britain will remain globally relevant in the 21st Century while simultaneously acknowledging that we need to shake our begging bowl at China because we lack the entreperial capitalist culture to generate enough money to adequately invest in our own country.
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hotpud
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(Original post by Economixxx)
It is a strange report that appears to have been written by those that cling to dead fantasies of empire and believe that Britain will remain globally relevant in the 21st Century while simultaneously acknowledging that we need to shake our begging bowl at China because we lack the entreperial capitalist culture to generate enough money to adequately invest in our own country.
I think that is a bit disingenuous to the UK. The UK is a world leader in many parts of the world. We are one of a few known nuclear powers of the world. Our closest ali is the US and we do have fingers in many pies around the world. And where as we don't make much stuff any more, we are still a world leader in intellectual property, innovation, financial services and pharmaceutics.

By contrast, China makes lots of stuff very cheaply and when it comes to innovation, they tend to defer to espionage. They also have an envious internal market that is bigger than the whole of Europe without exports added.

The question we face, is how to we maintain our position in a fast changing world. I don't know if this is the solution but I am glad we are at least thinking about it.
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Starship Trooper
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Dumb. We should scrap trident and just keep a few nukes at home in the unlikely event anything threatens.

If I was PM I'd sell Trident to the highest bidder and pay off our deficit instead of engaging in liberal vanity projects.
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Rakas21
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This report has my full support and indeed I am pleasently surprised that the government went in this direction.

On the nuclear point we are developing a new joint warhead system with the US for the upgraded missiles and we need the ability to strike first should the worst happen which requires nukes on submarines.

The wider report is also telling in terms of its dim view on Russia and China which tells you we are probably subject to more intelligence and cyber warfare than publicly perceived.

Alarmingly it does suggest that a terrorist group is likely to launch a chemical, biological or nuclear attack somewhere by 2030.
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Starship Trooper
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It says Britain should be a 'force for good in the world' how stunning and brave. Even Isis thought they were a force for good in the world.

What does this even mean?

(Usually arms deals, drone strikes, supporting terrorists, sucking up to the Saudis, promoting socially far left ideals to conservative countries that hate them and of course finding ever more immigrants to come to this country )
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fallen_acorns
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The Nuclear part doesn't really interest me, but the relationships with China and Russia do.

Honestly, in my eyes over the next 50 years it will be the ability of China and the 'west' to work together that will form the basis of weather we live in peace/prosperity or not.

Russia, Iran, The Middle east etc. Will all form small conflicts that will create lots of talk in the media, but the large global trend will be whether there are clashes between China and the west, or whether we can actually have a peaceful transition of power without the previously-powerful resisting it by force.

Personally, I am doubtful we will be able to do this peacefully and Instead I expect that the rest of the 2000s will consist of a cold-war like situation between the west + china, with economic proxy-wars replacing the actual proxy-wars of the last cold war. other countries will be used as the battle ground, with each side seeking to gain ground by slightly influencing the economic situation in their favour without actually causing a major global financial problem.

The threat that China poses isn't its military though. It's that it represents a non-western way to achieve wealth+power on a scale that no other nation has done since the collapse of the soviet union. It's an example for other countries that says "Look, you don't have to follow the western model of governance to prosper, this way also works". That is inherently threatening, and the scale of China compared to smaller nations that also thrive without western governmental models, makes it even more so.
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Tempest II
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
The threat that China poses isn't its military though. It's that it represents a non-western way to achieve wealth+power on a scale that no other nation has done since the collapse of the soviet union. It's an example for other countries that says "Look, you don't have to follow the western model of governance to prosper, this way also works". That is inherently threatening, and the scale of China compared to smaller nations that also thrive without western governmental models, makes it even more so.
The PRC isn't a direct military threat to the UK in the conventional sense, but certainly are in space and cyber space.
With today's hyper connected world (which is only going to get more connected), global repercussions from regional actions are both more common, and wide-reaching.
It's a very real possibility that the next flash point between the PRC and the US will be Taiwan. This could happen in this decade and would have global repercussions. For one, a massive amount of the globe's semiconductors (66% according to 2017 figures) come from Taiwan. The destruction or capture of these factories will cause disruption that will affect us in the UK.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...-by-operation/

The PRC has been at a disadvantage due to its weaker navy and lack of amphibious options, but it is rapidly expanding in both those areas. Its navy is already numerically larger than the USN. Without a change in policy from the PRC, there's a very good chance that there will be a conflict between the PRC and the US over Taiwan in the coming decade.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...-admiral-warns
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by Tempest II)
The PRC isn't a direct military threat to the UK in the conventional sense, but certainly are in space and cyber space.
With today's hyper connected world (which is only going to get more connected), global repercussions from regional actions are both more common, and wide-reaching.
It's a very real possibility that the next flash point between the PRC and the US will be Taiwan. This could happen in this decade and would have global repercussions. For one, a massive amount of the globe's semiconductors (66% according to 2017 figures) come from Taiwan. The destruction or capture of these factories will cause disruption that will affect us in the UK.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...-by-operation/

The PRC has been at a disadvantage due to its weaker navy and lack of amphibious options, but it is rapidly expanding in both those areas. Its navy is already numerically larger than the USN. Without a change in policy from the PRC, there's a very good chance that there will be a conflict between the PRC and the US over Taiwan in the coming decade.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...-admiral-warns
Taiwan is a really interesting case.

As far as I have read and heard the general idea in China was that Taiwan would slowly be pulled back towards China due to ever more economic reliance and business integration. Certainly from the Chinese perspective that seemed to be working. Taiwain is increasingly economically reliant on China, Tourism and migration between the two countries has been rising nicely. It seemed reasonably likely that given enough time eventually it would be seen to be within Taiwan's interest to be an independent region within China.

That all seems to have stalled now though. The situation in Hong Kong is awful for any plans China may have had of convincing Taiwanese people they are better off peacefully joining, and now the pandemic has pushed Taiwan's place in international politics back up the agenda. I don't really see a peaceful route to re-unification any time soon.

As for a militaristic one.. I would never rule it out if I were predicting the future, but I think it would be a case of Chinese opportunism. Were, for what ever reason, a chaotic global situation to emerge.. Crisis in America, wars in other places, etc. I wouldn't put it past China to take the opportunity while others are preoccupied. Will that ever happen though? I hope the world is never in that much chaos that it becomes a possibility. I can't though, see China launching any type of military conflict towards Tawain under normal peaceful circumstances without being provoked. They just have too much to loose.
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DiddyDec
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Seems pretty pointless because it is highly unlikely that nuclear arms will ever be used due to mutually assured destruction.
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Starship Trooper
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I love how liberals refer to regimes such as China as 'belligerent' ... (,Implying we're not) 😂😂😂
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anarchism101
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
Seems pretty pointless because it is highly unlikely that nuclear arms will ever be used due to mutually assured destruction.
I think the UK nuclear limit increase is a stupid and pointless idea, but there's plenty of nuclear weapon use scenarios which fall short of MAD - a lot of people seem to make the mistake of assuming what held true for a particular nuclear dynamic, namely the positions of the US and USSR at the height of the Cold War, holds true for all cases.

During much of the Cold War, nuclear strategy planning was still a relatively new concept, and much of the technology and knowhow that accompanies it now didn't exist. American planners were not entirely confident of either knowing where Soviet weapon sites and military installations were, or of their ability to target and hit them if they had to - and vice versa. So both sides adopted a crude policy of trying to build as many nukes as they could, as big as they could, and of explicitly being willing to hit just about anything, including large civilian population centres. At the peak of this, both sides had tens of thousands of nukes, the largest about 10 Megatons (for comparison, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were each about 0.02 Megatons). It was clear that if they ever actually used their nukes, it would effectively wipe both countries completely off the face of the earth - "mutually assured destruction".

Now, things have changed. Technology and intelligence-gathering has improved, and US nuclear planners are now pretty confident both that they know where Russian missiles are, and that they could hit them if they needed to. Additionally, today's Russia simply can't afford the size of nuclear arsenal that the USSR once had. So both American and Russian nuclear arsenals have significantly downsized, from tens of thousands to just a few thousand, and don't really maintain bombs larger than about 1 Megaton any more. More significantly, we have a few more small-scale nuclear powers, with just a few hundred nukes each or even less. Pakistan doesn't possess the kind of nuclear arsenal that could wipe out India completely, not even close. They could cause absolutely gigantic, unprecedented destruction and tens of millions of deaths, sure, but MAD just doesn't apply to the same extent between India and Pakistan the way it did between the US and USSR.
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