By Nu Cleo and Des Truction
The Trident nuclear submarine fleet is to be renewed after an overwhelming vote in its favour. The exceptionally expensive scheme is intended to maintain Britain’s place as a potent nuclear power. Although it is all a bit confusing, so I will break it down into steps.
Nuclear weapons exist.
Because they exist, we must have them.
If we did not have them, others who had them would definitely use them on us.
If we do have them, it makes others who have them think twice about using them.
Therefore total nuclear proliferation is the only solution.
But it isn’t for some reason.
Possibly because there are nations out there who are entirely undeterred by the ‘deterrent’.
In which case it’s a shit deterrent.
But we need them.
Even though we have them, we should never use them.
But we have to say we would gladly murder a hundred thousand innocent men, women and children.
Otherwise other people will know we just have it and won’t use it.
If we use it, it will almost certainly be met with equal destruction.
Thus mutually assured destruction is established.
Except that won’t happen.
Because we won’t use them.
We just say we will.
And there is peace for all mankind.
In constant fear of total nuclear annihilation.
That won’t happen.
Unless it does, in which case we would.
But it won’t.
This is essentially the logic behind a scheme that in total could cost over £200bn whilst the government is still preaching austerity. There are insufficient funds for ensuring the homeless have a place to stay, the destitute have food in their bellies and everyone can afford the bare necessities, pensions are being slashed, retirement ages upped, the poor being bled dry for every penny to continue paying for a financial crime that was not the people’s responsibility, and yet there is enough money to buy the carriers and deliverers of weapons of mass destruction.
An effective nuclear deterrent is not going to stop nationless terrorists fighting not under a flag, but under a God, from doing dumb shit. You can plough warheads into the sands of Iraq and Syria and I get the feel that not a single member of ISIS will care. One of the main arguments in favour of the scheme was that the future threats facing the UK are unpredictable. But here’s how easy foresight is, I’ll predict a threat for you. It’s called nuclear war and it is what happens when countries with their finger on the button eventually bite the bullet. A deterrent works so long as no one is using it, once people start using it its use is actively encouraged, after all the world is buggered anyway.
The bombs we have now are not the city-levelling 15-20kiloton Fat Man style bombs that caused so much destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No, nowadays we have warheads that are well over 100kt – five times as destructive as a Fat Man and to make things even better, each missile does not need exclusively one warhead. The current Trident II D-5 missile can carry 12! So, up to 1,200kt, or 1.2 megatons. The total energy released from ALL bombs in World War II, including the nuclear weapons, is 3mt. We can unleash, in around 2 missiles, the same destructive forces as the whole of World War II combined. What is more, the US ‘Castle Bravo’ test produced a 15mt yield and Russia’s Tsar Bomba put out an astonishing 50mt. But, of course, we need it, because other, badder people need to be discouraged from launching nukes because of our nukes.
The combined nuclear arsenal of the world is around 7,000mt.
This does not make me feel safer, or better able to cope with the threats of the future. I don’t think not wanting a weapon capable of destroying large metropolitan centres makes me a peacenik, I think it makes me a smart man who can foresee the foreseeable dangers of possessing such power. If we cannot predict our enemies for the future, we can at least predict risks based upon our own actions and continued nuclear armament is a big risk. Someone in the world needs to demonstrate the strength and trust to lead the world down the path of committed deproliferation as it is never going to happen so long as their is a continuation of this infantile “But they’ve got one!” attitude.
It is also narrow-minded and short sighted to assume every enemy cares, when the greatest enemy of our nations right now is an apocalyptic death cult.
That’s just my two pennies, which I know means nothing. If only I had several hundred billion then maybe somebody would listen.
Still MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of a renewal of the Trident system, so I suppose we can put our faith in those heroes and never have to worry again.