Is Trident upgrade required?

PUBLISHED: 11:51 15 December 2006 | UPDATED: 19:53 01 June 2010

THE Government s Defence White Paper, released last week, announced Tony Blair s intention to upgrade the Trident nuclear weapon system. Mr Blair nodded towards anti-nuclear campaigners by saying the Government will cut the number of warheads from 200 to

THE Government's Defence White Paper, released last week, announced Tony Blair's intention to upgrade the Trident nuclear weapon system.

Mr Blair nodded towards anti-nuclear campaigners by saying the Government will cut the number of warheads from 200 to 160.

Replacing Trident will cost £20billion according to the White Paper. Ministry of Defence sources have said the running costs of the replacement for Trident would add up to more than £65billion over 30 years.

Britain faces no nuclear threat. The security challenge it faces today is terrorism, and nuclear weapons are no help. Terrorism can be solved only by changes to foreign policy.

We are often told by the Government that we need nuclear weapons as an insurance policy, to use against future enemies with nuclear weapons of their own.

While the issue of nuclear proliferation needs to be dealt with, it is clear it is the current nuclear states that drive proliferation.

Since 1970 Britain has been committed to disarming, but it, and the other countries signed up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, have done little to achieve this. Is it any wonder non-nuclear countries, who feel increasingly threatened by the US and other nuclear states, want to get their own?

Nuclear is the ultimate weapon of terror. Our Government must listen to public opinion and begin disarmament. The Tories back the White Paper. They will ensure it is passed in spring, even if there is a Labour rebellion.

JOHN SMITHEE

Kingsley Avenue

Wisbech


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