Letter submitted to London Evening Standard
Your Defence Editor Robert Fox is unnecessarily scaremongering in claiming there are at least 18 latent or actual undeclared atomic weapons powers globally, in his article attempting to explain why Trident nuclear WMDs will be replaced by the Conservative Government, as a "necessity" against emerging nuclear threats.("Defence Spending vow a nice surprise for our service chiefs,"Commentary, 9 July)
Mr Fox should realise to make such a claim the countries would both have to have the fissile material, ie nuclear explosives such as plutonium or enriched uranium, and importantly the advance military capability to build workable warheads without testing them, as no covert testing is now possible anywhere worldwide with all the monitoring stations to detect such underground explosions in place by the unsung Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, base in Vienna.
Here are some countries with fissile material stocks and advanced technology in weapons: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa.
None of these have any intention of building nuclear weapons. Can Mr Fox really name 18 others beyond these he thinks are "latent or actual undeclared atomic powers"?