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Ear to the Ground

Blair Moves to Update Nukes

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Posted on Dec 5, 2006
Tony Blair
politics.co.uk

Tony Blair intends to modernize Britain’s nuclear arsenal, including the U.S.-made missiles and nuclear-powered submarines that deliver them.  But the prime minister will have to survive the misgivings of his own party, with critics questioning the utility of nuclear weapons against suicide bombers.


Boston Globe:

“The risk of giving up something that has been one of the mainstays of our security ... and moreover doing so when the one certain thing about our world today is its uncertainty, is not a risk I feel we can responsibly take,” Blair told Parliament, which will vote on the program in March.

“Proliferation remains a real problem,” he said. “The notion of unstable, usually deeply repressive and antidemocratic states ... having a nuclear capability is a distinct and novel reason for Britain not to give up its capacity to deter.”

There have been calls in Britain to dismantle the four-boat nuclear weapons fleet. Spending billions on a new fleet could undermine negotiations with North Korea and Iran at a time when those nations are being asked to adhere to international nonproliferation obligations, critics say.

“How can this cost be justified in the post-Cold War environment, when it will severely restrict much more needed conventional military expenditures, undermine the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and drain off colossal sums of money from real threats of terrorism, climate change, and long-term energy security?” Michael Meacher, a deputy from Blair’s Labor Party, said during [Monday’s] opening debate in the House of Commons.

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By Sirius99, December 5, 2006 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
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Probably not essential in anyones armament program, nuclear submarines and ICBMs are among the biggest ticket items on the shelf, and good for business.

They are going to throw you out, anyway, Tony, so make as much hay for you and George’s friends as you can while the sun still shines.

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By Quy Tran, December 5, 2006 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
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A dying bird usually cries with lamentable beseech !

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By Jon B, December 5, 2006 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

UK is a third rated nation economically and militarily. Looks like UK will spend their way to become a fourth rated nation.

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