By Nick Ritchie
President Obama and the united kingdom Labour and Coalition governments have all sponsored the renewed momentum for severe growth in the direction of an international freed from nuclear guns, when the united kingdom reveals itself launched into a debatable and costly programme to resume its Trident nuclear guns process. What does the united kingdom strategy inform concerning the customers for disarmament?
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Extra info for A Nuclear Weapons-Free World?: Britain, Trident and the Challenges Ahead
Stimson argued that the US should enter into discussions 22 N. Ritchie, A Nuclear Weapons-Free World? © Nick Ritchie 2012 Reykjavik Revisited 23 with the Soviet Union and Britain to formulate an arrangement to control and limit nuclear arms. Stimson and others recognised the destabilising nature of the new weapons for US–Soviet relations and the legitimacy of Soviet fears of the United States’ nuclear monopoly. 1 But early efforts to negotiate multilateral controls on the military application of nuclear energy soon foundered as the Cold War took hold and the geo-strategic nuclear arms competition unfolded.
The answer for a number of Cold War nuclear deterrence advocates is ‘no’: maintaining a sufficient level of control is looking increasingly problematic; possession of nuclear weapons is unlikely to provide an adequate response to the breakdown of nuclear order; and as nuclear weapon programmes and sources of weapon-usable fissile material proliferate, nuclear weapons will eventually be used to the enormous detriment of global society and stability. The solution, then, is one rooted in global collective security; a common security solution to a common threat of nuclear conflict: global nuclear disarmament.
An opportunity exists as the Trident replacement programme unfolds for the UK to demonstrate international leadership in new ways by exploring the challenges and complexities of taking further steps towards a nuclear weapons-free world as part of Beckett’s ‘disarmament laboratory’ concept. This could include concrete steps to further diminish the salience of UK nuclear weapons in national security policy by reducing the operational readiness and size of its nuclear arsenal. These themes are explored more fully in Chapter 10.
A Nuclear Weapons-Free World?: Britain, Trident and the Challenges Ahead by Nick Ritchie