NUCLEAR weapons have been a central part of what passes for defence policy ever since post-war Labour prime minister Clement Attlee signed up for them with Washington behind the backs of his Cabinet. Every prime minister since has made a fetish of Britain’s “independent nuclear deterrent,” even though it is neither independent nor a deterrent. Britain’s conventional armed forces have been run down over decades to the extent that they take the field now only as US junior partners. The ill-fated 1956 invasion of Suez, in alliance with France and Israel, was the last time that a Westminster government acted militarily without US approval.
Morning Star 16th Jan 2016 read more »
When Britain sends its nuclear armed submarines on patrol they are three-quarters empty. By that I mean that each boat carries 40 nuclear weapons, rather than the 192 warheads its 16 missiles are capable of delivering to separate targets. Why, you might ask, does Britain spend money on an advanced weapons system whose capacity it doesn’t use? The answer is partly the legacy of history, where Britain’s ability to deploy nuclear weapons has come to rely increasingly on US technology, and partly the transformation in the strategic environment since the end of the Cold War.
Left Foot Forward 15th Jan 2016 read more »