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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I want to keep this post as short as possible. Basically it is the right decision to renew Britain's nuclear weapons because we live in a strategic neighbourhood with other nuclear powers, and many potential ones. The motives of these are not always going to be benign, so we need to be sure the balance of power doesn'zt shift too much to our disadvantage.

The question now of course is, why not just rely on our allies? Personally I see no reason why we should lay our fate entirely in America's hands, who's to say that US interests will always overlap sufficiently for the US to remind our competitors of American nukes. Generally speaking probably yes, but the US is increasingly going to look away from (Western) Europe, for better or for worse.
So, why not rely on France? Despite many more differences than we have with the US, surely mere geography will ensure that French nukes protect us as well? Given some of the goals for British nuclear policy I will outline later, I think this is unlikely. In addition it misses the fact, that with France having the only nuclear weapons in Western Europe, it will get to call the shots on all matters regarding NATO and especially the EU. Polemically put, if we give up our nukes, there goes our opt-out out of the euro and common tax policy. If France gives up its nukes, its goodbye to the Common Agricultual Policy.
I assume that Western Europe will require a West European nuclear weapon for the foreseeable future, so why not switch British and French nukes to an EU system? As a eurosceptic I instinctively repel against this, but in theory this could one day be possible. Pigs might develop wings . . . . though with genetic engineering this might actually become possible one day. . .. Either way, this is not on the cards currently, and theoretically the EU might one day fail significantly enough for Britain to leave or the whole thing to collapse.

So, the prudent thing is to ensure that Western Europe has its "own" nukes, and that at least half of these are British.
I will provide more details on the reasons for such weaponry and how to change our nuclear weapons policy in the future in separate posts coming online later today.

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