Those Alternatives to Trident In Full

John Rentoul
Trident boat Those Alternatives to Trident In Full


Marvellous. Nick Clegg’s spokesman has briefed journalists on the Liberal Democrat position on nuclear weapons. He said that today’s news that Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, was spending £350m on the design phase of the Trident replacement does not mean that the Lib Dems have given up their opposition to a “like-for-like” replacement.

The Lib Dem briefing note says that no final decision has to be taken until 2016 and that the Trident Alternatives Study is considering the following questions, which happen to be numbers 865, 866 and 867 in my world-famous series:

(i) Are there credible alternatives to a submarine-based deterrent?

(ii) Are there credible submarine-based alternatives to the current proposal, e.g. modified Astute using cruise missiles?

(iii) Are there alternative nuclear postures, i.e. non-CASD [continuous at-sea deterrence], which could maintain credibility?

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  • spacedmonkey

    Bloody hell that monies could produce 35 badly needed school buildings! what a bl@@dy waste!

  • hughonabike

    No money for roads. No money for health. No money for education. No money for pensions. No money for housing. Lots of money for a nuclear deterrent! Go figure.

  • TheBoggart

    If we want to remain a nuclear power, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on submarines are the cheapest alternative to Trident.

  • Rick B

    If they haven’t already done so, make the casings and fill them with sand. As long as nobody finds out, it’s still a nuclear deterrent… and they can swindle all those billions away to their Caman bank accounts.

  • Shaun Munsey

    Who are we deterring? I’m not sure Trident’s really relevant any more, not when the economy is in the state we’re told it’s in.

  • jamie

    If we answer question (i) with:

    “Yes. No nuclear deterrent at all.”

    then questions (ii) and (iii) are superfluous. Saving you some work John. You’re welcome.

  • rwendland

    Why has The Independent used a photo from flickr and not attributed the photographer? The photo is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence, so you should credit flickr/JohnED76. For the original, see:

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