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Britain's Nuclear Deterrent - Still needed?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Luseac, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Visage

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    But why do we need several 100 warheads?

    Why not 10?
     
  2. hogfather

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    I posted this (or more or less this) yesterday, before the forums got rolled back...


    Surely the very definition of a nuclear deterant is that it deters ? It can only deter if people believe it *would* actually be used.

    And does anyone believe that a "western" (pardon the awful word) nation like Britain would have the balls to do that? To actually launch on a nation?

    Or actually, to be clearer - to have the balls to have first strike. Because there's absolutely no point, to my mind, in having 1 or 1000 nukes if its blatently obvious you arent going to use it in a first strike scenario. Because let's face it, if we get launched on by N Korea / Iran, its not overly important if we launch in response, if those get through.

    So for me, having nukes is a moot point if you arent ever going to use them. So I'd support Robin Cook in his assertion that we shouldn't renew them. Let's be the first genuine post - nuclear nation.
     
  3. Defcon5

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    Our nuclear capability is based on our subs.

    if each sub can carry up to ten warheads, and we only had 10, our entire arsenal would we contained in a single place, if that were taken out we would have nothing.

    The reason to have so many is that there are that many targets, the aim of a nuclear strike would be to remove the enemys capability to launch one back, so if they have 20 launch sites and we have 10 missles we would be vulnerable.

    part of the deterrant is knowing that a strike would obliterate the armed forces of a country, not just a few select sites, (a port, an air base and an aircraft carrier for example)
     
  4. Visage

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    I thought the aim of it was a deterrent?

    Why not have 10 subs with one missile each?

    What country in the world would not be deterred by the prospect of having 10 of its cities reduced to glowing glass, and how would that number change if the figure was 100 cities, or a thousand?

    Not a lot, i'd wager.
     
  5. aztechnology

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    Part of the idea of the subs is that they are almost undetectable and not targetable. You are right about the detterant threat though. We needed lots (I think that the need is much more questionable now than previously) of missiles to Assure mutual anihilation.

    The cost of a city or 10 might be bearable for a nation, the cost of every city is not.

    To those who say that nuclear deterrant has been a bad thing, all I can say is that for the last 60 years the worlds Major Powers have not faced each other openly, which was not the case before nuclear weapons came into the fray. I'm certain that without MAD, that open war would have been a much greater likelyhood.

    Do we need it now, probably not, the major threats in the world are not of open war that results in a situation where a nuclear deterrant is of any use. But what threat we will face in the future is unknown, and these weapon systems can't be mothballed for a future date, and require a substantial lead in time if we needed to create them in a hurry, so it seems to me that we don't have a choice and they should stay.
     
  6. big_white_dog84

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    A credible deterrent gives us our seat at the big table. The size of it is irrelevant. The cost comes from developing it in the first place - the cost of having one nuke is not much less than having 10 etc.
     
  7. knowlesy

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    there country is realy run by nukes so there you go


    the russians have what is called the "dooms day device which means no matter who what where why if theres no 1 in russia all the nukes go (if its activated) which means all nukes which are currently in silos and are ready and wating 1 of them is sent of which then triggers switches in all of them to go of ..... however in the case of an inch trigger finger and then ouups they will land on our heads due the not reprogramming them with safe guards......

    I agree the yanks are very dominating i mean blair is bush's his lapdog atm we dont want him to go further down than what he is (if its possible)


    it roughly just takes 10 nuclear wareheads (im guesing at 20 kilo ton) to wipe out all of asia dosnt realy matter how man you have just how precise you are (well you will need a few lol)


    isrial does have nukes http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762462.html


    so yerh all in all id agree we need them to speak and be heard also to try anbd put of some countries from taking over others however it seems like we are doing ...... howeevr with our threats it does seem some countries still dont care (should we not think why cant we all united stop things instead of using nukes) if the un got there asses up and stopd handing out warnings and said look stop or we will enter and show people we will not be pushed around and people will have right to speach i dont see any need for nuclear capabilitys (bar power)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2006
  8. cheets64

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    We should go for the Star Wars Programs as the Americans did, Id rather shoot down nukes than nuke a country nuking us.

    The fact is the UK and US will never fire on a country, France maybe, all ther others would, the leaders want to go out on a blaze of glory.

    Example

    China fire nuke at US, US intercepts, World is on standy, UK intercepts a Nuke. UK US France fire at country/s . US UK (if we get star wars program) are ok, france takes a nuke or 2.

    As China is getting big with Economy we need to look at

    You put an alarm on your car so you can hear it being broken into at night or where ever.

    You put an alarm on your house so your neighbours can hear the alarm going off ( a country gets an early alarm and warns you off an attack)

    You put an alarm on your life, you are being attack, you are dieing, you scream you let poeple know that your life or others are in danger.

    Why not your country men.

    I'd pay the extra tax for peace of mine and if it misses :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2006
  9. THMRK

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    The only country in the world out of the "big 5" that doesn't have a no first use policy is the US. The US are in fact, the only country in the world who COULD start a nuclear war. No one else could. America have actually said on countless occasions that they want no part in World War 3 unless they start it. No one else has the capacity to engage a nuclear war except Russia and most of Russias nuclear weapons are barely functional. They render more nuclear weapons un-usable each year simply because of their age, and the US pays Russia to train their people correctly so that any non operational warheads either in Russia or in ex-Soviet republics don't fall into the wrong hands.
     
  10. apocc

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    The US are in a good position, technically they are the only country that has the capability to make Nuclear war and also a country that doesn't want to. This is why i never believed a country like Iraq had WMD's because seriously what the hell were they going to do with them, they could nuke a city in the US, but then the consequences obviously being the US brings hell to their door, the irony in this being that the US seems to be randomly picking on these nations 'with' WMD's i guess oil has its price now.

    Talking about economy and the global economy China also have their reason not to launch i mean they nuke a city thats a possible 10 million customers down the drainpipe, only the stupid man attacks first.

    The fact of the matter is nukes will only ever be used in self-defense as the US demonstrated in Hiroshima and Nagaska in retaliation to the attack on Pearl Harbour since then the US hasn't been touched by any country.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2006
  11. knowlesy

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    bring hell look what they did to iraq 1,000 dead (hell visited them like in vietnalm and korea) they are very un orginised as seen by friendly fire....

    i gotta admit i completely agree about oil and its price jst shws how much they can be aresd to find newer fuels .....so they jst sau hey wmds a 12 yo wrote this paper it must be tue lets invade and trade oil for food???
     
  12. Killerkebab

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    I think you need to check up on the power of an explosive. A 20 kiloton warhead is what was used on Japan in 1945.

    In modern nuclear arms, that is a firecracker.
     
  13. Defcon5

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    If a terrorist group set of a nuclear weapon in the US would they retaliate with their own against the country the terrorists were from?
     
  14. knowlesy

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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2006
  15. big_white_dog84

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    To prevent a nuclear war there need to be 'mutually assured destruction' ie everybody loses. Something like 'Star Wars' removes this, and although on hte surface it might seem to make the US a safer place, it actually increases the overall chances of nuclear war - esp if two rival nations have such defences.
     
  16. Killerkebab

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    Damn. I was so sure it was 20.

    Either way, we need a deterrent. If only because it gives us a far more powerful voice. A couple hundred well maintained warheads on an effective platform (say, a submarine) should be more than enough.

    We only need to update what we currently have, and we need to do it now for it to be ready in twenty years time when our existing missiles become useless.
     
  17. RaohNS

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    you'll find the US now has had over 2,000 dead in Iraq, this is not a Vietnam by any standards. Friendly fire incident happened because our tank wasnt equipped with an IFF unit, fair enough the americans are stupid to think that Iraq has an operational tank and secondly that anyone would be stupid enough to drive it but at the end of the day there is still arguements as to they happened/shouldnt have happened.

    I dont recall there being a friendly fire incident in over a year now. America are in contrast getting more and more organised. In terms of firepower shock and awe was a massive success, they dropped an estimated 8million pounds of explosives on a country and yet figures put the death toll at less than 100.

    Yes it shows how much they can be bothered to find newer fuels, what country in this world spends $4billion every single year on fuel cleansing and cleaner fuel production? Certainly not any developed nation other than America!

    Oil for Food is a big flop, very little of the food actually reached who it should have, and as usual it was a EU/UN plot to keep bEUROcrats happy and in a bit of pocket, while on the world stage looking like they cared, it was the same with Arafat, he had billions sent every year which should have gone to the people, it is a known fact he had over four billion in his bank account at the time of his death (not to mention his wife was kept in a $1500/night hotel in France)

    >| Raoh |<
     
  18. Visage

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    Of course not, they'd just invade Iran.
     
  19. Visage

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    Why dont you just *marry* America?

    /teen ;)
     
  20. aztechnology

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    could you provide some reputable backing for this, as it sounds a lot like cold war hysteria... and considereing the state of most of the USSR military, i would be surprised if half of there missiles actually managed to launch (mind you though, that still would be plenty).

    it would be nice if this was a technology that was bearing any fruit, after over 20 years and at least $100 Billion dollars spent, there is only a rudimentary system in place that would still stand very little chance of intercepting any real threat. Whether prioritsed USA spending still thinks that the National Missile Defence is still worth the spend in todays political climate will determine whether the thing ever gets finished.


    The friendly fire incidents are unfortunate tadgedies. In these type of zones people are always going to be shot at (and hit) by their own sides. We certainly can't blame the US without knowing more about the incidents

    And Wow, I never realised the financial position of the PLA(O)/Yasser Arafat...(google is our friend once again) Hopefully the political situation will chang in the are with the him and Sharon out of the way, though to be honest I fear Isreal will be even more hard line than Sharon was becoming.