Monday, 16 May 2016

Nuclear Disarmament will require resources too

I totally agree with CND that spending on replacing the Trident nuclear WMD system is a totally misplaced priority in expenditure of public finances ("Trident replacement to cost at least  £205 billion , CND claims, " Guardian, 12 May,  - as CND General Secretary Dr Kate Hudson said "Far better to spend it  [the£205 bn] on industrial regeneration,  building homes,  tackling climate change  or meeting our defence needs in usable ways.” (“Trident replacement cost rises to 'staggering' £205 billion”, CND briefing, 12 May;£205-billion)

This is especially so especially at a time when outgoing  US President Obama is about to visit Hiroshima at the end of this month ( albeit ironically armed with his 'nuclear football' attaché case  containing the nuclear WMDs launch codes!) to argue the case for a more secure world without any nuclear weapons (“Hiroshima to open up its horrors to Barack Obama during historic visit,” Guardian, 13 May;
However, Guardian security specialist Richard Norton-Taylor's inclusion of the observation, without qualification, that: "About £20bn is also being spent on the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, where the warheads are manufactured and maintained, between 2000 and 2025," requires expansion, as not all those opposed to nuclear WMDs would oppose some of this planned expenditure.

The CND briefing says that "This money will be spent on infrastructure building work, servicing costs, upgrading the warhead and studies for development of a replacement."
While upgrading or modernising nuclear warheads is clearly totally unacceptable, making sure those that remain in service deployed until removed from deployment through disarmament surely need to be made as safe and secure as possible, so as to avoid any catastrophic accident.

Similarly, spending on dismantlement verification through the Foreign Office's AWE Blacknest ( centre
, a former country house at Brimpton, near to Aldermaston would be vital investment for disarmament.

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