Trident has denuded the Royal Navy of ships

Commander Robert Forsyth RN (ret’d) came to Nottingham to say that Parliament should be involved in the re-targeting of nuclear weapons, otherwise the Prime Minister and Trident submarine commanding officers would be placed in legal jeopardy.

He was commanded a Polaris nuclear submarine (a deputy) and what came across was how and his boat’s commander rehearsed time and again the scenarios under which they’d launch nuclear weapons.
Thought-provoking to hear him explain how he’d thought those discussions had been based on wrong thinking about the deterrence. Time and again there have been episodes when a nuclear war had nearly started, and looking back, would not have been justified – e.g. Operation Archer could have started Armageddon on the basis of a faulty radar reading.
Dismay was expressed at the 2016 Trident Parliamentary debate (he’d thought Theresa May had called opponents “traitors”) .
It was a dreadful debate.
So badly ill-informed compared to the eighties. Perhaps the argument to drop Trident can be won on the cost alone – full life cost estimated between £150bn – £204bn. (The initial £40 million has denuded the Royal Navy of ships such as frigates (£250 million each).) But if there was greater awareness, there would not be support for nuclear missile exchanges which would lead to unprecedented death and destruction, and the hard to envisage nuclear winter.
Testimony to that was President Reagan’s change when he saw a TV movie produced in the mid-eighties. And it was suggested that if he hadn’t hung his faith on a Star Wars defence, a nuclear free world agreed by him and Gorbachov would have been achieved.

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