The UK has been lobbying the US Congress in support of a controversial new warhead for Trident missiles, claiming it is critical for “the future of Nato as a nuclear alliance”. A letter from Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, seen by the Guardian, urged Congress to support initial spending on the warhead, the W93. The letter, sent in April but not previously reported, draws the UK into a US political debate, pitting the Trump administration against many Democrats and arms control groups over whether the $14bn W93 programme is necessary. The US navy already has two warheads to choose from for its submarine-launched Trident missiles. The close cooperation on the W93 casts further doubt on the genuine independence of the UK deterrent – parliament first heard about it when US officials accidentally disclosed Britain’s involvement in February – and the commitment of both countries to disarmament.
Guardian 1`st Aug 2020 read more »
Russia’s apparent test-firing of an anti-satellite weapon in outer space on 15 July, as alleged by the US and Britain, could be dismissed as another of Vladimir Putin’s annoying provocations. That would be a mistake. The alleged new space weapon should be seen in the broader context of a rapidly evolving, hi-tech, high-risk international arms race involving all the major nuclear powers that, largely undiscussed, is spinning out of control.
Observer 2nd Aug 2020 read more »