Tag Archives: nuclear disarmament

Nick Harvey MP writes… Robert Gates poses stark defence question to UK: Do we want to be a real military partner or a nuclear power and nothing else?

Former US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning decrying the UK’s defence cuts. He said the squeeze meant the UK could no longer be a ‘full spectrum’ military partner of the US, acknowledging that our relationship with the US has been fundamentally altered.

A sceptic would quickly dismiss the comments of a man currently promoting his memoirs, but Gates makes a wider point about what exactly we want to be doing with a smaller defence capability.

Both Labour and the Tories continue to cling to the idea that we should maintain a full-scale Cold War …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 31 Comments

Conference: Defending the Future will not defend the realm

The defence of the realm is the foremost responsibility of any government. The defence policy paper that will be debated in Glasgow this week is not only worrying, but potentially dangerous.

The first business of any defence policy is to recognise that the armed forces are to wage war in the name of our interests. We must be clear what these interests are. We can then be clear as to when we will deploy our armed forces into combat, what equipment they will need, the training they will require and the size and composition they must be. War is, after all, …

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Martin Horwood MP: Trident – A Different Path

Dr StrangeloveFew aspects of British policy have remained so undisturbed for so long as the UK’s attitude to nuclear deterrence. As we bring home our troops from Germany, tying up one of the last loose ends in a Cold War conflict that Britons under the age of 40 can probably barely remember, it would be wise for our nuclear policy to finally catch up.

This is not a new idea for us. In opposition, Liberal Democrats opposed Tony Blair’s plan for early like-for-like replacement of Trident nuclear weapons and we did so on the basis that a system designed to counter the existential threat from the twentieth century Soviet Union is not sensible in the early twenty-first century.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Julian Huppert: Trident – getting off the nuclear ladder

TridentI firmly believe that we do not want Trident. We simply don’t need the ability to blow up large parts of the globe. Frankly, the idea that we have spent decades with nuclear armed missiles cruising the oceans ready to fire on a moment’s notice seems absurd to me. I look forward to a world where we do not have such weapons, and where no one else does either.

Even those who believe that the MAD theory worked during the Cold War surely must accept that  the world has changed – I am always amazed by those who still live in the 60s.

The Tories are still wedded to that position – they seem to display some bizarrely Freudian attachment to having missiles which can explode violently.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

Scrap Trident nuclear weapons, urge 58% of Lib Dem members

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

58% say scrap Trident, just 26% back leadership line of reduced deterrent

Currently the Trident system has FOUR nuclear armed submarines. This means that at least one nuclear armed submarine can always be on patrol, even if others are undergoing maintenance or training, and therefore the country has a continuous nuclear deterrent. One way of having a less expensive nuclear

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , and | 24 Comments

Opinion: Iran v. West – breaking the deadlock

George Bernard Shaw used to say that political necessities sometime turn out to be political mistakes. As things stand in ongoing negotiations between the West and Iran, this seems to be the parallel for what is going to happen in yet another round of talks later this month in Russia. Let us consider the current balance of actions.

Iranian Religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in his recent appearance publically accused West of fabricating information about Iran’s nuclear progress to cover up its own problems. In the same speech he warned that Israeli military action against his country will me bet with …

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Lib Dems push Coalition to abandon ‘Moscow criterion’ in latest anti-Trident move

Writing in the Financial Times, former Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell has urged Britain to drop the so-called ‘Moscow criterion’ — which commits us to maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent capable of obliterating the Russian capital — in order to open up the possibilities of a more targeted, and cheaper, nuclear alternative to the renewal of Trident:

Nuclear weapons have no intrinsic merit. Their significance is in deterrence. If you ever have to use them it can only be because they have failed in their primary purpose. But nuclear policy ought always to be assessed in its political context. It is

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The Independent View: MoD suppresses Lib Dem review and spending information on Trident ahead of Parliamentary decision

Liberal Democrats can be rightly proud of their record on challenging like-for-like Trident replacement and keeping Britain’s nuclear weapons near the top of the political agenda – certainly during the last general election campaign. But now it looks as though their coalition partners are moving to stifle the gains they have made. Not only has the Defence Secretary announced the suppression of the Lib Dem-led Trident Alternatives Review. He is also making a mockery of the delayed Trident replacement decision – scheduled for 2016 – by committing to spend £6 billion before that decision date. This is hardly fair play …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 18 Comments

The Independent View: Alternatives to Trident replacement must include the possibility of no nuclear weapons

Since Liam Fox made his announcement last week that while Trident replacement design is going ahead, the Lib Dems will also be looking at alternatives, there has been a flurry of derision about the latter initiative. Most obviously this comes from Liam Fox and the hard–line pro-nuclear lobby who just want to rubbish it. But criticism of Lib Dem efforts also comes from some anti-nuclear quarters and I am not convinced that this is totally reasonable.

From my point of view, it would be very easy to have a pop at the Lib Dem leadership for not backing CND’s maximum programme …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments
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