Trident Nuclear Weapons

Discussion in 'Current & Military Affairs Discussion Forum.' started by Gone_for_a, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Gone_for_a

    Gone_for_a New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Wondering what opinions and thoughts are on the renewal of the Uk's nuclear deterrent Trident. At a cost of £100 billion!! One of the Royal Navy's main roles is to protect and maintain Trident.
    Good because: Deters other rogue countries from using nuclear weapons against us. The UK's global influence would be diminished if we disarmed unilaterally. An estimated 15,000 jobs would be lost with considerable expertise.
    But is it essential for Britains security? £100 billion pounds! Imagine that spent on healthcare, the benefit system, schools and education, the police force, prisons etc.
    The cold war threat is now over and nuclear weapons would not be effective against the current terrorists.

    What do you guys think? If you were David Cameron would you renew them? I almost feel trying to join the Royal Navy I should argue for them (with a few arguments against to show looking at both sides of the argument).
     
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    It's an interesting topic.

    After the supposed end of the East/West Cold War, we got rid of tactical nuclear weapons but maintained Trident ICBMs as our nuclear deterrent.

    Prior to this at one time we had US cruise missiles based in UK and tactical air-delivered RN & RAF free-fall nuclear weapons (WE177: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WE.177)

    Question is, do we bin the strategic nuclear capability, revert to a smaller flexibly delivered tactical deterrent and bin the four Bomber submarines?

    Odds are the RAF & Army would be delighted if the Vanguard submarines were retired - in the assumption they would receive a larger slice of the defence budget. My belief is that the capability & budget will more likely be reduced rather than re-distributed between the arms of the services.

    As to the need for nuclear capability, look no further than Iran, North Korea etc.
     
  3. BrigRat

    BrigRat Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting topic.

    Certainly, the Navy could expand its fleet by a large margin and there would be plenty of money to pump into education and welfare leftover.
     
  4. Gone_for_a

    Gone_for_a New Member

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    Reverting to a smaller tactical deterrent may be no deterrent at all. Only 1 submarine is ever operational and it carries a total of 3 nuclear warheads with 16 missiles I believe. Thats 3 "shots". Obviously Trident would be there to deter N'korea and Iran but would it deter them? If their leaders care about their people they wouldn't fire. If they didn't care about their people and fired they would probably have left their country before we could retaliate.
    If North Korea realise that we do not have a deterrent would they fire upon us? The international outrage would be huge. I would be surprised if they weren't invaded at the very least and had all weapons confiscated.
    How many more lives could be saved with £100 billion of healthcare or scientific research?
    The RAF and Army receiving a greater budget is by no means a bad thing. Are we not after all, all defending the UK?

    @BrigRat - Would you choose not to go ahead with the nuclear upgrade?
     
  5. BrigRat

    BrigRat Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure. I'm sure the Prime Minister has more information than I do about international threats.

    If possible, I would prefer to buy a defense system such as more destroyers with missiles capable of destroying any ICBMs. However I realise that would be inmensely difficult and would require constant upgrades.

    How do I feel? The same way most of the scientists who invented them did. Nuclear weapons are probably the worst inventions of humanity. However they have been invented, so we have to deal with that appropriately - perhaps civilisations such as ours having them is worth it for the whole of humanity, if not for just this nation.
     
  6. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    I don't know why people say they are the worst inventions of humanity - they looked to have secured peace for the last 70 years in Europe. I think it's the opposite to be honest. If Saddam, had Nukes there would have been no Gulf War and peace. North Korea has them and no war. Pakistan and India have behaved relatively well since they both got the nukes. Dropping the bomb on Japan saved thousands, maybe tens of thousands of life's on both sides.

    It's the one weapon that Politicians know will kill them as well as front line soldiers - it tends to make them use their brains a bit more when their own necks are on the line.

    In my opinion they need to be upgraded. Ballistic missile interception is claimed to be pretty good now and getting better. Therefor the most important part is questioned - the deterrent part. It doesn't really matter if it gets through or not, it's the deterrent that counts. If it comes to using it, it's already too late for us to care about it getting through.
     
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  7. BrigRat

    BrigRat Well-Known Member

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    I disagree, I believe it's the social change that has secured European peace, not the presence of nukes. the creation of the EU, replacement of the failed LoN with the UN and realisation that nationalist isolation causes wars has majorly reduced atrocities between developed nations.

    India-Pakistan is maybe due to nukes - not purely for me. As for dropping two bombs on Japan...I do not believe that move was justified. No matter how much I have tried to understand it, I can't laud the decision, especially not for two to be dropped.
     
  8. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    Arh, I'm going to need to whip out the age card here - :(. I was talking more about the iron curtain, West v East in my opinion would have been fighting in all out tank battles if it wasn't for the nukes. Incidents that would have triggered WW3 without Nukes, instead called for more grown up heads.

    Reason they dropped two on Japan was because they didn't take the first one all that seriously and wanted to keep fighting. Deaths resulting directly and indirectly from dropping those two were about 130,000 according to most sources. The Yanks and British fighting their way up there and invading Japan would have cost many more than that. Remember that the Japs were a bit suicidal in their belief system of not surrendering. Those bombs saved a lot of allied life's, not to mention many Japanese ones in the grand scheme of things.
     
  9. Gone_for_a

    Gone_for_a New Member

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    That's a really interesting point of view @GreyWing Didn't look at it that way..better jot that down! What sort of social change do you mean @BrigRat ? I personally also agree in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with hindsight it was the right thing to do. Right now Americo-Japanese relations have never been stronger in order to ensure it never happens again. Hopefully they will never be used. Of course with North Korea no-one can be certain of anything. Altho I still keep thinking.. £100 billion!!
     
  10. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I think that £100 billion may be around ten years' worth of UK tax revenue from cigarette and tobacco sales.
     
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  11. Gone_for_a

    Gone_for_a New Member

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    ....are you trying to say its a negligible sum of money? Or that its ONLY 10 years worth of UK revenue from cigarette and tobacco sales so Britain can afford to spend it on Trident? That could almost pay all NHS debt + finance it for the next year and a half. That amount could also cut the national debt by almost a tenth. More money could then be spent on jobs etc or even just improving average quality of life.
    *text deleted* I think I am of the opinion that it should be updated. If the Captain asks me this in my SIFT then I'm going to destroy this question ;)
     
  12. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    Getting massively technical here but that £100 billion on a new trident system isn't inflationary spending, it doesn't really go into the real economy in most terms. You can print it out of thin air, it isn't real. Spending £100 billion on the NHS is inflationary and therefore is real money as most of it will end up in the real economy.

    If you ever here them say that the cost of the Iraq and Afghan war comes out of the "reserve" this is the same kind of thing - it isn't real money. I wouldn't go into the sift interview repeating any of this as it's barking mad and few will understand it. You will probably be asked to leave :D
     
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  13. Gone_for_a

    Gone_for_a New Member

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    Ok. That is technical. I do understand what you mean...just about. Think I'll just keep it simple :)
     
  14. BrigRat

    BrigRat Well-Known Member

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    Sorry gramps, that era is beyond me-nailbiting-

    No I don't doubt nuclear capability was a factor in keeping the peace between the USSR and the weat back in the day, I see the point there. But those days are gone, we need funding elsewhere and our conventional forces are the most used and...abused, really. I mean, we lost all naval fast air capability years ago and this new fighter is taking its sweet time at coming into service.

    Yes, the Japanese were fanatical as hell but a lot of civilians died in those bombings. They're up there with Dresden as questionable. All three of those cities had milutaty ties, but the civilians really paid a price for that.

    I think I've got the wrong message across. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the rearmament of Trident, I just don't appreciate nukes as a good thing. They're useful, but never "good". Maybe in some situations they're the lesser evil, but I do fear one day they will become the greatest evil.
     
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  15. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    Nukes aren't a good thing - I agree, their deterrent is though. Unfortunately those two things can't be split though. I'd argue Japan wouldn't have started WWII if the yanks had nukes at the start. Unfortunately for them it was developed half way through and in secrecy - the deterrent aspect was lost on them until it was too late.

    Looking back, would you say that Hitler would have tried to invade Russia is Staling had nukes at the time? There was about 15 million life's lost right there. I'd argue that nukes would have saved those 15m life's without ever being fired.

    What if Hitler had nukes? I'd argue there that German's wouldn't have believed the propaganda = of their country being under threat if they believed they had the safety of the nukes. Therefore probably wouldn't have elected him.

    Do Israel have nukes? I know they say they do but do they? In a way it doesn't matter, if everyone believes they do then job done without the cost.

    On a separate question - would the new trident system be independent of the yanks? For £100 billion do we get the right to fire it without their say so?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  16. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I was suggesting neither; simply putting some context into how £100 billion of our money is accumulated by government.
     
  17. Guski

    Guski Member

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    This is an interesting point and I think I see where you're going, not sure I agree though. Any chance you could elaborate a bit?

    Also pardon my ignorance, but what exactly does that £100 billion buy?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  18. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    It's all very complex to try and explain it all without writing 50,000 words on it. I'll try and give very very basics on it.

    When everything is boiled down, money is very simply a exchangeable value of people's time. Individuals value their time on their skills and efforts.

    £100 billion on trident results in about 500 jobs per year (5,000 over 10 years). Most of the cost of trident is on tech and materials. Plus as these jobs are highly skilled, the people who earn this money tend to just bank it and it doesn't enter the economy as fast. Very low inflationary pressure.

    £100 billion on nurses, results in 6,666 jobs a year for 10 years at 30k a year. Plus as they tend to run tighter personal budgets, they tend to spend their income faster or as soon as they get paid. This means money enters the economy faster and causes inflation quicker.

    Basically £100bn on trident buys you 500 people's time for the year over 10 years. Where £100bn on nurses buys you 6,666 a year over 10 years.

    So nurses cost you 61660 people years extra than trident in real labour terms.

    This is a very very broad explanation without going into massive details.
     
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  19. BrigRat

    BrigRat Well-Known Member

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    I think Japan would certainly still have invaded China in 1937, but the attack on America would probably not have happened until they had developed their own nukes.

    They might have, if only Stalin had them - if Hitler had them also, I'd argue that 15 million plus many more would have died, and the environmental damage would be astounding.

    There were many factors for Hitler's election - historians still argue the toss of over what the main cause was. I'd point out that the Wall Street Crash and the economic repurcussions (the Weimar Republic done nowt to aid the evonomy) still caused such confusion and problems wih the democracy that Hindenburg's problems with Chancellors and von Papen's political maneouvering would still inevitably have allowed Hitler to seize control of Germany through Hindenburg's approval. The statistics on German voting patterns clearly show that the economic crisis switched most German voters from SPD to NSDAP, thus Hitler might have been in control of a country with nuclear capability - the Blitz would have been rather more devastating.

    I have no idea about Israel, I think even America's somewhat creepy backing of Israel stops most groups short of attacking it.
     
  20. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Actually that's one thing I hadn't really thought about, but you are absolutely right.

    Politicians are never as brave or belligerent when their own lives are endangered.

    Like all insurance policies, it's a rip off, but maybe it has a purpose in assuring the future of humanity due to the unthinkable inhumanity it could unleash.
     

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