Trident: does Britain need it?
Debate Rounds (3)
The case for renewing trident, in nearly every respect, is irrefutable. Trident is a necessary evil in a world that has many countries developing nuclear capabilities, that would pose a big risk if they were the sole owner of nuclear power. Giving up nuclear weapons quite simply means that we may one day have another country deciding our destiny.
I will separate my main arguments into three headings:
1) A nuclear deterrent prevents us from being subject to nuclear blackmail
Nuclear blackmail would be more than possible from countries that we, in our warm and welcoming homes in the west, view as undeveloped and culturally inhuman be that regarding human rights or war ethic. The fact that we have a nuclear deterrent available at our disposal 24 hours a day means that we have the power such that countries do not feel they can blackmail us with nuclear power. If you were the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and then scrapped trident and our nuclear deterrent, what would you do if North Korea threatened us with a nuclear strike (or for that matter, the Weapon of Mass Destruction of some kind that they tested today )? A nuclear deterrent would stop that from happening, as the concept of Mutually Assured destruction (where the use of nuclear weapons by the aggressor and the defender would result in the total annihilation of both states) is undesirable to anyone. No leader wants their country (and most importantly, them) to die due to a retaliatory strike, so our nuclear deterrent functions as that threat of a retaliatory strike. This has been demonstrated in the cold war, where the Soviet Union knew that if they launched a nuclear strike against the United States, they themselves would be obliterated by the US missiles positioned in Turkey. Therefore, in the present day, our continuous nuclear deterrent will prevent the risk of any threat of a nuclear strike by other states.
2) We have an obligation as a developed country to maintain the deterrent
NATO's 2010 Strategic Concept and the 2012 Deterrence and Defence Posture Review means that whilst NATO's fundamental objective is non-proliferation and disarmament, as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO shall remain a nuclear alliance . As a member state of NATO, we therefore should be obliged to comply with this and maintain our nuclear deterrent. As a nation with the power that we have, we have the resources to maintain a nuclear deterrent that other countries with less developed economies may not be able to. Our nuclear deterrent can be used to defend countries in Europe against nuclear strikes, so not only are we defending our own country against the threat of nuclear blackmail, we are defending countries in Europe and other member states of the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty. When you take into account the fact that we in the UK are incredibly developed, it is clear that in the same way we provide foreign aid to countries subject to disasters, and we defend areas against the threat of IS, we should provide a nuclear deterrent to our allies who do not have the luxury of a deterrent. Nuclear weapons have guaranteed our security for generations, and they will continue to do so not only for us, but also for the countries that we guarantee security for as well.
3) Complete nuclear disarmament is impossible
Whilst it sounds idyllic to obtain complete nuclear disarmament from every country on the planet (and it would be), it is fundamentally an implausible concept. How can we engage in diplomatic talks with countries such as North Korea who have a nuclear power but aren't willing to enter negotiations? How do we decide who goes first? Hypothetically, even if we do manage this, how do we ensure that nations completely disarm and destroy their nuclear weapons? How can we then ensure countries do not then go to develop their nuclear arms again in future? The answer to all of those questions, is that we cannot. Countries that we cannot negotiate with will always remain, and we will never be able to ensure that they either destroy their existing nuclear arms or never develop them. It is impossible to tell when hostile states may acquire nuclear capability, and so it is essential that we, as a Western country and developed ally, maintain our nuclear deterrent so as to eliminate the threat against the West that hostile states may pose.
To conclude, I think my points make it clear that no matter what perspective you take, Trident is a necessary deterrent. In an isolated view it is good enough, that is to say it defends our nation and the near 70 million innocent civilians that reside here. However, you also must realise that our nuclear deterrent is protecting more than just the lives of civilians in our country. It is protecting civilians in other countries, by providing a blanket of deterrent against any hostile nations that would be far more likely to blackmail us if we were to remove our deterrent. Millions of lives are protected by Trident, and every British government since 1945 has seen the reason for having a nuclear deterrent (else we would not have developed them and maintained a deterrent). Let's not destroy that protection in a time where we need it more than ever. Your turn, good luck.
syntaX forfeited this round.
1) Yes, it could be used to destroy a nation, and it would most likely affect EVERYONE in the country. But, that is the point of Trident. It is a deterrent. As the leaders of other countries know that we have the potential to affect their entire nation, so they are not going to threaten us with doing exactly the same thing. I cite my point about Mutually Assured destruction from my previous argument.
2) Putting money towards the military happens anyway: We meet the NATO target of 2% of our GDP going towards defence. Trident is one of the single biggest defences we have as it acts as our deterrent against countries that may want to use their nuclear power for hostile purposes. Not spending money on Trident would not mean we go and build houses with it, that has its own budget and houses are being built anyway. As does foreign aid, we have a budget for that and we spend it - furthermore, a nuclear deterrent and defence spending /is/ foreign aid as we act as a blanket defence for countries around the globe and assist in many things, currently most notably the fight against the threat of IS. Therefore, not spending the money on Trident is not going to mean we have it available, and spending it most certainly does not make the nation suffer.
3) I'd be very interested to get your source for it producing waste that is leaked. Firstly, nuclear warheads do not directly produce waste as nuclear reactors do. And hypothetically if it did, it would be disposed in a very secure manner as is the case with nuclear reactors. And it's a submarine! How on Earth would it escape the watertight vessel? It won't leak, technology is beyond that. Even if the slightest amount of radiation entered the water, no one would die as it would be instantly reported and contained.
Good luck to my opponent for their conclusion, if they post one.
syntaX forfeited this round.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.