Socialist Worker

Billions are to be wasted on Trident replacement nukes

Issue No. 2030

The government’s Defence White Paper which was released this week, announced Tony Blair’s intention to upgrade the Trident nuclear weapon system.

Blair nodded towards anti-nuclear campaigners by saying the government will cut the number of warheads from 200 to 160.

But each of these warheads has an explosive power of up to 100 kilotons, eight times the power of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 killing an estimated 140,000 people.

Replacing Trident will cost £20 billion according to the White Paper.

Sources at the ministry of defence have said that the running costs of the replacement for the Trident system would add up to more than £65 billion over 30 years.

Kate Hudson from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) told Socialist Worker, “Britain faces no nuclear threat.

“The security challenge Britain faces today is terrorism – and nuclear weapons are no help. Terrorism can only be solved through changes to the government’s foreign policy.

“We are often told by the government that we need nuclear weapons as an insurance policy – to use against future enemies with nuclear weapons of their own.

“While the issue of nuclear proliferation needs to be dealt with, it is quite clear that it is the current nuclear states that are driving proliferation.

“The government is guilty of saying one thing and doing another on this issue.

“Since 1970 Britain has been committed to disarming – but it, and the other countries signed up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, have done little to achieve this.

“Is it any wonder that non-nuclear countries – who feel increasingly threatened by the US and other nuclear states – want to get their own?

“Nuclear is the ultimate weapon of terror. Our government must listen to public opinion and begin disarmament.”

The Tories back the White Paper. They will ensure that it is passed next spring even if there is a Labour rebellion.


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Sat 9 Dec 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2030
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