Monday, 9 November 2015

When defence officials speak out on nuclear weapons‏

In their new 820- page study of the procurement and operation of British nuclear submarines, The Silent Deep, Professor Peter Hennessy and his co-author Dr James Jinks, point out that when Trident’s predecessor, Polaris, was bought from the United States in 1963, the civil servant Peter Nailor (who served on the ‘Polaris Executive’) conducted research into Polaris for the Ministry of Defence  in a study entitled The Nassau Connection, he concluded, having interviewed several very senior officials that there was “a strong current of feeling among senior officers that the [Polaris nuclear submarine and nuclear missile ] programme was having a detrimental effect on the naval service.” (page 238)
I wonder, now the Ministry of Defence has sanctioned senior serving officers speaking g out on matters of highest political senisitivity on nuclear security matters, with the outgoing chief of defence staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton’s observations on Trident on the Marr programme on Sunday, whether we can hear publicly from other senior defence officials whether they harbour similar doubts over Trident, as their predecessors did half a century ago over Polaris.

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