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£76 Billion for Nuclear Subs?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6203824.stm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/armstrade/story/0,,1877227,00.html

It could cost as much as £76 Billion over it's lifetime .. is it worth it?

I think it's a huge waste of money, and especially for a weapon so powerful it's chances of ever being used are slim to none.

There also seems to be no real reason to make a decision now anyway, as the existing system is supposed to be good until 2025... however many think decisions are being made now to facilitate the kickbacks that will funnel their way through, after all if you're going to spend £20 Billion on a new programme it isn't very hard to make a million here and there disappear.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6203824.stm

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/armstrade/story/0,,1877227,00.html

    It could cost as much as £76 Billion over it's lifetime .. is it worth it?

    I think it's a huge waste of money, and especially for a weapon so powerful it's chances of ever being used are slim to none.

    There also seems to be no real reason to make a decision now anyway, as the existing system is supposed to be good until 2025... however many think decisions are being made now to facilitate the kickbacks that will funnel their way through, after all if you're going to spend £20 Billion on a new programme it isn't very hard to make a million here and there disappear.
    It takes 17 years to build them from the planning stage (probably more knowing this country), so they need a decision in the next few years. Personally, this'll keep my dad in a job 'til retirement, so it'll do for me. After that we can start spending money on more sensible things.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It takes 17 years to build them from the planning stage (probably more knowing this country), so they need a decision in the next few years. Personally, this'll keep my dad in a job 'til retirement, so it'll do for me. After that we can start spending money on more sensible things.

    It would be cheaper to give your dad and all the other workers who'd lose out a £1 million pay off each then spend that many Billions

    Also when we have stories like this of our planes being held together by sticky tape and holes plugged with teapots I think there's more immediate things we can spend the dosh on

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_headline=scandal-of-raf-nimrod-kept-in-air-by-a-teapot%26method=full%26objectid=18203437%26siteid=66633-name_page.html
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Prob still needed, but I agree with the Lib Dems (now there's something I thought I'd never say) that you probably don't need so many warheads. Nuclear policy doesn't have to be based on total mutual destruction of France/Russia/USA/India/Pakistan/Israel/North Korea or China but on unacceptable destruction to their key cities.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Get rid of the lot. Both Britain and the world will be safer for it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Prob still needed, but I agree with the Lib Dems (now there's something I thought I'd never say) that you probably don't need so many warheads. Nuclear policy doesn't have to be based on total mutual destruction of France/Russia/USA/India/Pakistan/Israel/North Korea or China but on unacceptable destruction to their key cities.

    Can't you destroy a city without going Nuclear?

    I reckon any decision made now has more to do with winning huge contracts and making share prices jump, etc then anything to do with national security.

    I'm sure Blair stands to gain financially somehow from this all going ahead, there's too much money involved to not have his hand in there somewhere .. He has just 1 year left to secure his financial future..

    I do believe as a rule of thumb presidents / PM's are not paid a salary that reflects their enormous responsibilities. But that's a whole other debate.

    I do remember when Blair came to power they played the song "Things can only get better" as he took the stage .. and now I think that song is soo appropriate

    Nuclear weapons are so powerful and destructive - the only secanrio I can see them being used is to shoot into outerspace to protect us from asteroids that are about to hit the earth.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can't you destroy a city without going Nuclear?

    Not sure another way without having a massive, massive expansion of conventional forces
    I reckon any decision made now has more to do with winning huge contracts and making share prices jump, etc then anything to do with national security.

    I'm sure Blair stands to gain financially somehow from this all going ahead, there's too much money involved to not have his hand in there somewhere .. He has just 1 year left to secure his financial future..

    Possibly, possibly not - I've not seen anything either way.
    I do believe as a rule of thumb presidents / PM's are not paid a salary that reflects their enormous responsibilities. But that's a whole other debate.

    Probably true.
    I do remember when Blair came to power they played the song "Things can only get better" as he took the stage .. and now I think that song is soo appropriate

    I never thought Labour would be any good, so I'm only suprised its taken people so long to wake up to it.
    Nuclear weapons are so powerful and destructive - the only secanrio I can see them being used is to shoot into outerspace to protect us from asteroids that are about to hit the earth

    Given that an asteroid would possibly destroy all life on earth that may be a defence of them on its own.

    Also the idea that nuclear weapons would actively be used is going back to nineteenth and early twentieth century use (ie pre-WW1). This is that you only get a weapon which you'll use.

    A lot of modern military thinking is based on deterrence - you get weapons that you don't use. And the most effective weapons are the ones which so scare the bejesus out of everyone they're never used.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Worth every penny.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Worth every penny.

    I agree - or are you being sarcastic?

    I actually think they are anyway, we need them these days.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No sarcasm.

    i've yet to see a good arguement for getting rid of them.
  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Posts: 13,332 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    No sarcasm.

    i've yet to see a good arguement for getting rid of them.

    Same. We still need them until we can get a global disarmament going - something such as every country having nuke shield systems - then they are useless and no-one bothers.

    If you don't have WMD's afterall, the USA will invade you 'cos its easy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They are not really our nukes are they, we dont have a proper deterant at all, we rent them from the US.

    What this is really about is, should the UK have a good fleet of new subs, and I say yes, we probably should, although smaller than before.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No sarcasm.

    i've yet to see a good arguement for getting rid of them.
    I concur.

    It just looks like a scary amount of money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Money could be a good reason.

    But for the sake of the argument we could come up with a few others:

    - Is Britain really in danger of being nuked by anyone?

    - Aren't we contributing to nuclear weapons proliferation by upgrading our arsenal?

    - Is upgrading our nuclear weapons compatible with existing non-proliferation treaties? Kofi Annan and others don't think so

    - Wouldn't changing our foreign policy be it a far cheaper, cleaner, safer and more effective form of defence? Many other nations manage that nicely.

    - Who exactly would we use our weapons against if a terrorist group detonates a nuclear bomb in one of our cities? What good would those nukes be?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote:
    we rent them from the US.

    Does the tally man come round every Friday night and knock the door, and Britain's hidding behind the sofa with the telly off.

    'Come on Britain i know you're in there. Rent's due, it'll be double next week'

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A few other views against from Guardian readers (who else ;) )

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,1964795,00.html
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote:
    They are not really our nukes are they, we dont have a proper deterant at all, we rent them from the US.

    What this is really about is, should the UK have a good fleet of new subs, and I say yes, we probably should, although smaller than before.

    If not as if once they're launched the US could do much though is it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    Money could be a good reason.

    But for the sake of the argument we could come up with a few others:

    - Is Britain really in danger of being nuked by anyone?

    Not at the moment, but can you tell in 20 years
    - Aren't we contributing to nuclear weapons proliferation by upgrading our arsenal?

    Possibly, but nuclear weapons aren't going to go away because the UK decides not to have them. Even if the US followed our lead, do you honestly think that places such as India, Pakistan, North Korea are going to do so. Fact is nuclear weapons can't be uninvented so they have to be manager and disarmanment just isn't the way.
    - Is upgrading our nuclear weapons compatible with existing non-proliferation treaties? Kofi Annan and others don't think so

    Irrelevant - the UK Govt should do what is in the best interests of the UK
    - Wouldn't changing our foreign policy be it a far cheaper, cleaner, safer and more effective form of defence? Many other nations manage that nicely.

    Probably not. Many nations fall under ourselves, Frances and the US nuclear umbrella (all NATO countries are under UK/US, SEATO are under the US). And as can be seen by the number of other countries devveloping nuclear weapons it seems lots of other countries can't do quite nicely.
    - Who exactly would we use our weapons against if a terrorist group detonates a nuclear bomb in one of our cities? What good would those nukes be

    Not good in that scenario. But then lots of weapons are no use in lots of scenarios, tanks are pretty useless in Northern Ireland, fighters are pretty useless when the enemy has no aircraft. No-one is saying that for every type of conflict nukes are the answer, but they fulfill a function.

    Of course in the above scenario the terrorist sponsor state may of course find some of cities are smoking ruins of course, which would certainly act as a detterrent for, say Iran, deciding to support them with technology and equipment
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not at the moment, but can you tell in 20 years
    I can pretty much tell that if Britain behaves responsibly it should fear no attacks.

    Most other countries on earth go by this premise and seem pretty content about it. Are they being irresponsible fools for not trying to acquire nukes, or are we being pointlessly paranoid?


    Possibly, but nuclear weapons aren't going to go away because the UK decides not to have them. Even if the US followed our lead, do you honestly think that places such as India, Pakistan, North Korea are going to do so. Fact is nuclear weapons can't be uninvented so they have to be manager and disarmanment just isn't the way.
    That doesn't mean we should contribute towards a new nuclear race. By upgrading our systems we are effectively making ourselves more lethal to others. What do you think the likes of Russia and China will do if Britain arms itself with a new, smarter generation of nuclear weapons?

    Irrelevant - the UK Govt should do what is in the best interests of the UK
    Some would say that respecting international treaties and doing sensible things is in the UK's best interests


    Probably not. Many nations fall under ourselves, Frances and the US nuclear umbrella (all NATO countries are under UK/US, SEATO are under the US). And as can be seen by the number of other countries devveloping nuclear weapons it seems lots of other countries can't do quite nicely.
    Well in that case let the US and France cover us. There are plenty of nukes about to protect us all as it is, without the need for Britain to have its own.


    Not good in that scenario. But then lots of weapons are no use in lots of scenarios, tanks are pretty useless in Northern Ireland, fighters are pretty useless when the enemy has no aircraft. No-one is saying that for every type of conflict nukes are the answer, but they fulfill a function.

    Of course in the above scenario the terrorist sponsor state may of course find some of cities are smoking ruins of course, which would certainly act as a detterrent for, say Iran, deciding to support them with technology and equipment
    If you found out it was any State that did it, and were prepared to launch a first nuclear strike against said State. Which is pretty unlikely regardless of whose nuclear processing plant the plutonium first came from.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    I can pretty much tell that if Britain behaves responsibly it should fear no attacks.

    Most other countries on earth go by this premise and seem pretty content about it. Are they being irresponsible fools for not trying to acquire nukes, or are we being pointlessly paranoid?

    Most countries couldn't afford them. A lot more would get them if they could. And when you say if the UK behaves responsibily it should fear no attacks - I think you may mean appease. The UK behaved responsibly in the 1930s and again during the Cold War - I would say in both cases we rightly feared attacks.
    That doesn't mean we should contribute towards a new nuclear race. By upgrading our systems we are effectively making ourselves more lethal to others. What do you think the likes of Russia and China will do if Britain arms itself with a new, smarter generation of nuclear weapons?

    I suspect they'll update their nukes whether or not Britain does. But they'll also know (as will others) that we're serious about are deterrence
    Some would say that respecting international treaties and doing sensible things is in the UK's best interests

    And sometimes they are, but only when they're in the UK's best interests.
    Well in that case let the US and France cover us. There are plenty of nukes about to protect us all as it is, without the need for Britain to have its own.

    I wouldn't trust either to be honest and if the UK's defence relies on it I'm inclined to trust neither the EU or the Special Relationship.
    If you found out it was any State that did it, and were prepared to launch a first nuclear strike against said State. Which is pretty unlikely regardless of whose nuclear processing plant the plutonium first came from

    I think we'd have a fair idea. If a nuclear bomb explodes in Birmingham and the group who do it claim that its because of our support for Israel, as a fair guess its not the Chinese. Though first strike is unlikely, because once you know that terrorists are planning it there are others way to deal with it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote:
    They are not really our nukes are they, we dont have a proper deterant at all, we rent them from the US.

    What this is really about is, should the UK have a good fleet of new subs, and I say yes, we probably should, although smaller than before.
    I find it laughable that people on the radio keep talking about "our independant nuclear deterrant". Its nothing of the sort. How come the French manage to make their own missiles, while we use an American design?
    And don't get me started on the French aircraft carrier...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I find it laughable that people on the radio keep talking about "our independant nuclear deterrant". Its nothing of the sort. How come the French manage to make their own missiles, while we use an American design?
    And don't get me started on the French aircraft carrier...


    France probably has a huge sense of pride in it's achievements

    Sometimes this is good and sometimes bad, like they decided to create their own Television Broadcasting standard just cos they didn't want to use what the Americans had, although the American TV NTSC Standard is crap so it's not a bad thing either.

    It always amazes me how come there's no money for a decent NHS, Schools, Inner City redevelopments, etc But when it comes to war there's always money ready to hand.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It always amazes me how come there's no money for a decent NHS, Schools, Inner City redevelopments, etc But when it comes to war there's always money ready to hand.
    Spot on. Boys and their toys, basically.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    I can pretty much tell that if Britain behaves responsibly it should fear no attacks.

    Define "responsibly", if by that you mean "not upset anyone" then you effectively right a charter for us giving up all sovreignity.

    Besides the argument can be flipped. If others behave "responsibly" then we will have no reason to use them.

    I think that Flash has the others covered.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think if people look beyond the price tag, then we do need a nuclear deterrent. If you have nukes you won't be attacked- that's why the US won't be invading North Korea any time soon

    I don't think we need to be committing ourselves yet, though. But when there's money at stake for new, why refurbish the old?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bugger, I'll anbswer them anyway.
    Aladdin wrote:
    Money could be a good reason.

    Not at all. If money is the basis for a decision then we could find some damned good argument for not spending a penny on defence at all. Reality is that if we want to be independant, to maintain "democracy" then we need defence.

    The ultimate attack is nuclear and therefore the ultimate defence needs to be too until we can find an alterative method of defending against nuclear attack from the existing MAD one.
    - Is Britain really in danger of being nuked by anyone?

    Today? Probably not. In part because others know that we could reply in kind. In 20 years time, without our own defence, very much so.
    - Aren't we contributing to nuclear weapons proliferation by upgrading our arsenal?

    By reducing the number of warheads? Surely it goes the other way.

    But seeing as the cat is already out of the bag, that the technology exists do you really think that there will be a point in our lifetime when there are no nukes in the world? All the time that there is one Govt with one bomb, others will strive to match them.
    n't changing our foreign policy be it a far cheaper, cleaner, safer and more effective form of defence? Many other nations manage that nicely.

    Do they? Didn't seem to help Iraq and Afhganistan. having nukes has certainly helped Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, China, the US, Russia and France though.
    Exactly would we use our weapons against if a terrorist group detonates a nuclear bomb in one of our cities? What good would those nukes be?

    Why would we want to, unless it was clearly state sponsored?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Define "responsibly", if by that you mean "not upset anyone" then you effectively right a charter for us giving up all sovreignity.

    Besides the argument can be flipped. If others behave "responsibly" then we will have no reason to use them.
    How many countries do you see queuing up to nuke the likes of Germany, Spain, Canada or Australia? Now or in the future?

    And those countries have foreign policies. And they have even sent troops to hotspots around the world. And they have participated in coallition wars.

    So it is perfectly possible to be responsible while engaging in international policy and even the use of force.

    Nor that any nation would want to nuke even Britain, despite what all we have done. But if we behaved even better, then the actual chances of being nuked by anyone are pretty much nil.

    No sane statesman would want to nuke another nation for no reason.

    And an insane statesman wouldn't give much of a shit about what might happen to his own country if he decided it'd be laugh to nuke someone would he? In which case having nuclear weapons would only serve the purpose of revenge and killing millions of innnocent people to no avail.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not at all. If money is the basis for a decision then we could find some damned good argument for not spending a penny on defence at all. Reality is that if we want to be independant, to maintain "democracy" then we need defence.
    Well not quite. There is, regrettably, the need for some limited defence force in place. But even without nuclear weapons we already have too big a force. For the purposes of defending one's own territory and to have the capacity to launch limited operations abroad, Britain and indeed many other Western governments have dozens of times more than the required resources.

    The ultimate attack is nuclear and therefore the ultimate defence needs to be too until we can find an alterative method of defending against nuclear attack from the existing MAD one.
    So you think the 240-odd countries that do not have nuclear weapons are irresponsible lunatics and their very survival is severely compromised by their lack of nukes then?

    It is that kind of thinking which is directly responsible for nuclear proliferation.

    That is why it is very important that we abandon the nuclear club. Specially since we see ourselves fit to criticise, threaten and even attack other nations that are only guilty of thinking along the same lines. We should lead by example instead of insulting other countries' intelligence by telling them 'do as I say not as I do'.


    Today? Probably not. In part because others know that we could reply in kind. In 20 years time, without our own defence, very much so.
    Who would want to nuke Britain? Why on earth?


    By reducing the number of warheads? Surely it goes the other way.
    It's all to do with getting the warheads there. As new generations of missiles aim to outsmart all possible defences other nations are not going to let their missiles fall behind.
    But seeing as the cat is already out of the bag, that the technology exists do you really think that there will be a point in our lifetime when there are no nukes in the world? All the time that there is one Govt with one bomb, others will strive to match them.
    Still, the fewer nukes the better. Again, we cannot be telling other nations not to join the nuclear club while we present such feeble excuses that since others have them we might as well keep ours. If that line of thought is good for us, it sure as hell is good for the likes of Iran and North Korea.


    Do they? Didn't seem to help Iraq and Afhganistan. having nukes has certainly helped Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, China, the US, Russia and France though.
    Then again Iraq and Afghanistan didn't have the world's third most powerful conventional army perfectably capable to repelling any attack from just about anyone on the planet.


    Why would we want to, unless it was clearly state sponsored?
    We wouldn't. Another reason why there isn't much point in keeping nukes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    How many countries do you see queuing up to nuke the likes of Germany, Spain, Canada or Australia? Now or in the future?

    I don't know? Do you? Canada for example is covered under NORAD and its hard to imagine any nuclear attempt on Canada where US doesn't respond. Australia has several times debated going for a nuclear detterent (and may do more so as China flexes its muscles). And its not like Germany has a long and peaceful history.

    And those countries have foreign policies. And they have even sent troops to hotspots around the world. And they have participated in coallition wars.

    Fine, but what is if 20 years time a far-right Govt in France wants a forceable realignment of its border with France and Germany. And don't say it will never happen - look back 20 years from 1939 (or 10 years) and see what was happening in Germany - people wouldn't have imagined it would be a threat in 1939
    So it is perfectly possible to be responsible while engaging in international policy and even the use of force.

    Why have any of them been threatened by a nuclear power?- hiding in the safer parts of Afghanistan is not the same in international terms as dealing with the North Koreans deciding to invade South Korea, Russia kicking off or a rogue France wanting to redraw the lines of Europe.

    We don't have nuclear weapons to help us in Iraq or Afghanistan (I've not noticed a lot of big bangs lately), Same as hunter-killer subs are not much use in dealing with the IRA. Different weapons systems are used for different threats/issues.
    Nor that any nation would want to nuke even Britain, despite what all we have done. But if we behaved even better, then the actual chances of being nuked by anyone are pretty much nil.

    And they certainly won't if we have them. But I can see lots of scenarios where they could threaten to and frankly if Iran says we want you to pull out of Iraq and let us invade or Birmingham gets it, if we have no nukes we're going to let them.
    No sane statesman would want to nuke another nation for no reason.

    Fine, but they may nuke them for a reason. Even if they threaten too, its kind of hard for us to say 'you wouldn't dare' and just cross our fingers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know? Do you? Canada for example is covered under NORAD and its hard to imagine any nuclear attempt on Canada where US doesn't respond. Australia has several times debated going for a nuclear detterent (and may do more so as China flexes its muscles). And its not like Germany has a long and peaceful history.
    Oh please. As if.



    Fine, but what is if 20 years time a far-right Govt in France wants a forceable realignment of its border with France and Germany. And don't say it will never happen - look back 20 years from 1939 (or 10 years) and see what was happening in Germany - people wouldn't have imagined it would be a threat in 1939
    Hitler was a madman. If another madman got into power and he had access to nuclear weapons, and more to the point was nuts enough to use them, then our nuclear weapons would serve no purpose whatsoever other than revenge and pointless destruction.


    Why have any of them been threatened by a nuclear power?- hiding in the safer parts of Afghanistan is not the same in international terms as dealing with the North Koreans deciding to invade South Korea, Russia kicking off or a rogue France wanting to redraw the lines of Europe.
    You certainly seem to live in a world on the very brink of nuclear holocaust. If it didn't kick off at the height of the Cold War, the chances of the UK being nuked at any time in the future are simply laughable.
    And they certainly won't if we have them. But I can see lots of scenarios where they could threaten to and frankly if Iran says we want you to pull out of Iraq and let us invade or Birmingham gets it, if we have no nukes we're going to let them.
    Iran would have no reason to do that, and even if it did it would now it would face nuclear destruction by others. The US or France, to name but two.

    There are still thousands of warheads around. Most of them belong to our allies. That is why it is entirely pointless for us to have a few more.

    Fine, but they may nuke them for a reason. Even if they threaten too, its kind of hard for us to say 'you wouldn't dare' and just cross our fingers.
    Well most nations on earth appear to be pretty happy with such scenario. Perhaps we should be a little braver.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    I think if people look beyond the price tag, then we do need a nuclear deterrent. If you have nukes you won't be attacked...

    Really? What about the Falklands? 9/11?

    Flashman you say if we disarm it won't mean anyone else will. Well thats an assertion which is as yet unknowable, but lets take it for granted. It doesn't follow that us getting rid of our nukes unilaterally is necessarily a bad thing. Just like poverty or disease: they will still exist in other countries if we get rid of it (which we could well do with that spare £76 billion) but at least we won't be contributing to human misery. Personally, my dying wish in the (almost implausible) event of another major power hitting the UK with nukes would not be for billions more around the world to die as well. I'd rather at least some people had a chance to live, even if they inhabited the territory whose rulers had killed me. For instance, I wouldn't want millions of innocent Chinese dead because the Chinese government had launched an attack on the UK.

    And why would a country decide to nuke another anyway? There have been examples of bitter enemies acquiring nukes before the other in the past, and they didn't result in a one-sided nuclear attack (e.g. the USA and the USSR, India and Pakistan).

    Anyway I'm fairly sure that most countries now realise that any nuclear exchange of more than a dozen bombs would have a terrible impact on all countries around the world, through economic instability, refugee crises, and above all the environmental disaster that would occur. I don't know which power could concievably want to nuke any other. I can think of individuals or small terrorist organizations who might want to: which is all the more reason for getting rid of weapons that they could take control of and use against us (or could be mistakenly detonated). Because who are you going to use your nukes against if some Islamist Extremists nuke London? Mecca? The entire middle east?

    Personally I think we should keep five or so nuclear bombs in a deep, deep storage bunker in Scotland somewhere, on minimum maintainance funding. If for some reason we decide we ever need them, they are there. If in the future there does arise an arms race which seems to be heading towards MAD: well, if the majority of the country decide they want to kill other people and increase our chance of being nuked, we have the technology, we can always rebuild a full scale nuclear deterrent.
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