BASIC has published a new briefing authored by Dr. Nick Ritchie of the University York. The government is in the midst of a Trident Alternatives Review, which will immenently be delievered to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Dr. Ritchie’s new brief critiques that forthcoming Review and highlights weaknesses within current thinking around Trident.
The briefing outlines the key issues that need to be addressed, and identifies the opportunities that Britain has to demonstrate leadership on nuclear disarmament. Ritchie claims that this is a unique opportunity in the UK for an informed debate and his report addresses the key questions:
- Is what counts as a ‘credible’ nuclear deterrent threat fixed?
- Do we need to keep our nuclear weapons permanently at sea?
- Are there examples of alternative nuclear force postures?
- Are there any benefits from changing nuclear policy?
The UK nuclear weapon system has been highlighted in the news recently. On Wednesday April 3rd, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote a piece for the Telegraph, outlining his commitment to continuous-at-sea-deterrence (CASD) and the Trident nuclear weapon system. This briefing by Dr. Ritchie directly contradicts the thinking behind Mr. Cameron’s support of Trident.
In other news, BASIC’s newest briefing from the Trident Commission, ‘Deterrence, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation, and UK Trident’ was featured in the Guardian in an article by Richard Taylor-Norton, who argues that if the country continues to think of Trident as an employment scheme, we will lose out and be ill equipped for real threats of terrorism.