Hans Blix: Britain’s Trident plans ‘completely pointless’

His most explosive statements centred on Britain’s plan, in an age of austerity, to spend vast billions on replacing Trident with a new “nuclear deterrent”. From a peace and security perspective he described it as “a completely pointless exercise”.

When we were talking back-stage, he had suggested to me that perhaps the British public would be very reluctant to abandon our nuclear weapon. I responded that I did not think public opinion on the matter had ever been seriously tested and that if it was, it would be very difficult to predict the outcome.

In the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear massacres, the 1950s saw the rise of the “ban the bomb” movement. Today, all these years on, the “threat” is altogether different, as Dr Blix explained. Asymmetric warfare has no nuclear component. Even if it did it would be very hard to combat with a nuclear bomb.

Then he delivered his own “bomb”, calling upon Britain in most specific terms, to “abandon Trident altogether”. Indeed, to go further and abandon the bomb.

Source: Hans Blix: Britain’s Trident plans ‘completely pointless’

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8 thoughts on “Hans Blix: Britain’s Trident plans ‘completely pointless’

  1. Ian Keeling

    From a comment I posted on JC’s facebook yesterday

    What are your thoughts on taking some of the £100 billion Trident white elephant and using say 20% to expand the Royal Navy surface fleet with Helicopter Carriers and Hospital Ships which could then support international disaster relief worldwide as well as supporting NATO and combatting international piracy and people traffickers?

    Trident is a chocolate soldier, it’s a first strike weapon. One which the UK would never launch on this planet because of all the civilian casualities it would cause. It cannot stop a single incoming nuclear missile. Let the US keep the mutually assured destruction whilst we do something multi-purpose with our defence spending. Leaving NATO would be election loser, this idea would gain votes not lose them.

    I think scrapping Trident without any conventional (non-nuclear) defence augmentation is a mistake, tactically and politically. This proposal gives us forces, armed or otherwise, that we can use in everyday work around the world raising our international reputation as peaceful but strong. It would be politically acceptable to many people and our NATO partners.

    what do you think Mike?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Fine. But my understanding is that defence augmentation would be part of the package in any case, if Trident was abandoned.

  2. NMac

    Hans Blix is right, this needs to be debated nationally and sensibly, without the lurid scaremongering that somehow being without Trident means imminent invasion by some foreign power. However, as Mr Blix knows from experience, British politicians only listen to him when it suits them.

  3. mohandeer

    As I stated in a recent post, what is the point of having a “nuclear deterrent”? Some twerp on TV was saying we should abandon our big sticks!. The US is going to supply Germany with another 20 nuclear warheads aimed at Russia. If the West and in particular the US can goad Russia into a war and it has to defend itself against NATO (it should never have been used in this way in the first place), the short range nukes will be the first that Russia takes out. That means that most of Europe, with only half it’s arsenal of nukes (approx. 2,000 though it could be twice this many) would be in ruins while the US across the pond is secure. Note that the US will not directly engage Russia, because China is fully aware that it will never be “friends” with the US, and will likely side with Russia against the US. So Washington convinces the corporate elitists of Europe to fight it’s proxy war against “Russian aggression” of which there is very little evidence of while the US holds the “moral” high ground, of which there is even less evidence of and encourages us to get ourselves clobbered. All the combined Nuclear armaments within Europe couldn’t match half of what Russia has even with four Trident subs patrolling the seas. We’ll manage even less with London and the four major cities in ruins (20 nukes ought to do it bearing in mind that modern day nukes have more than fourfold the yield of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs). The loss of civilian life after those bombs was such a success, let’s do it again!

  4. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    First, we need to build up a better understanding with Russia and that won’t happen without dialogue. It only needs some evil or perhaps manic person to fire the first bomb and the world would be facing “MAD”.

    Even is nuclear warheads are considered a deterrent to other countries, the fact that America has them should surely be sufficient to allow us to get rid or our own and augment our armed forces instead.

    I can’t see either Russia or America giving up their arsenals but I do feel that dialogue between the UK and Russia together with American involvement would be beneficial and a big step towards reducing tension and perhaps even going as far as trying to extend a friendly and helping hand to each other.

  5. Nick

    the only reason trident is supported by the new labour is because of the jobs that would be lost which is perfectly understandable

    however you need to look at the wider picture of if it is needed for the future and if not then keep the skilled workers so that they can adapt to produce something that is better suited for defense preferably one that the whole of the EU can embrace and to share the overall costs

    Doing things alone may have worked once in life but with today’s fast paced technology committing to something 10 years plus down the line sound like a recipe for failure

  6. ian725

    The Main Nuclear Arsenals would be amongst the first strikes along with the delivery capability bases. Cities are always a secondary and third rate strike. In the UK the Holy Loch with Trident Submarines and arsenal would be a First Strike wipe out.

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