Sunday, September 27, 2009

From the pillar of fire and cloud

Moving from four to three submarines is bad for our defence – it leaves no margin for error, and makes it harder to maintain our present continuous undersea watch – but the move would not affect nuclear capability or be part of global negotiations. What President Obama wants cut are warheads. Britain has 160. This is already very low. France has 400, and the US and Russia have 2,700 each. Mr Brown (rightly) did not offer any cuts in warheads.

Occasionally you are presented with a mentality so different from your own that it is quite difficult to understand what the hell they are talking about.

In this case I do not think Charles Moore, who asserts that Trident "will give this country 50 years of security" (but not from global warming, climate change, asteroid strike, bird flu, terrorism, John Redwood, or any of the other realistic threats to the security of our nation) is as out-of-the-park meshugge as, say, the unresistingly imbecilic Melanie Phillips, but he is as close to that state of being as you can be whilst still being minimally coherent.

That nuclear weapons are expensive and unconscionable is by-the-by. What always surprises me about the likes of Moore and other cheerleaders of WMDs is that they choose to focus only on the nukes. Surely there are alternatives?

There must, surely, be cheaper ways of commiting retaliatory genocide than nuclear weapons? One possibility is for the British government to covertly secrete a sealed vial of anthrax, replete with satellite-bounced remote-control detonators, in the centre of every foreign city in the world. This would be cheaper than submarines and nuclear tipped ICBMs but still guarantee the possibility of the desired level of monstrous carnage.

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