On Sunday 14th April, BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour programme featured an item on the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, setting out the arguments for and against the renewal of Trident. Interviews ranged from experts and politicians across the political spectrum, including former Liberal Democrat Minister for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey MP, former private secretary to Margaret Thatcher Sir Gerald Howarth MP, and Convenor of the Top Level Group and former Labour Defence Secretary Lord Browne of Ladyton. The programme highlighted the divergence of views on the issue and raised questions on whether like-for-like replacement of Trident is necessary or whether Cold War style nuclear deterrence is outdated in the 21st century.
To listen to this broadcast please click here.
In an editorial in today’s Telegraph, Prime Minister David Cameron outlined why he believes it is necessary to renew Trident. Stating that it would be ‘foolish to leave Britain defenceless against a continuing, and growing, nuclear threat’, the Prime Minister called Trident ‘an insurance policy that the United Kingdom cannot do without’. Addressing the costs of the programme, the Prime Minister states that he believes ‘the security of our nation is worth the price’.
To read the article, please click here.
PM Cameron’s editorial follows a series of recent articles on the renewal of Trident in the British press including:
A report published today by the European Leadership Network, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Russian International Affairs Council and the Munich Security Conference warns that the Euro-Atlantic Region’s security policies are dangerously out-of-date, potentially destabilizing and costly.
The report “Building Mutual Security in the Euro-Atlantic Region” contains recommendations from more than 30 top military, political and security experts from across Europe, Russia and the United States. It concludes that today’s leaders should move decisively and permanently toward a new security strategy through a politically mandated dialogue and an integrated approach to the full range of security issues.
In each of the six key areas addressed in – nuclear forces, missile defences, prompt-strike forces, conventional forces, cyber-security and space – specific steps are identified to reduce dangers along with a new approach grounded in today’s opportunities and challenges.
The report is published in the names of former US Senator Sam Nunn, former British Defence Secretary and Convenor of the Top Level Group, Des Browne, former Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Igor Ivanov, and Munich Security Conference Chairman and former German Deputy Foreign Minister Wolfgang Ischinger.
The full report, the Co-Chairs’ Summary and a Russian-language version of the report can be found at www.BuildingMutualSecurity.org.