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Do European countries need nuclear weapons?

beng100
Posts: 1,055
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12/16/2015 1:05:29 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
It is an interesting question. I'm from the uk and we are one of just two nuclear armed European nations the other being France. I was on the side of seeing them as a waste of money and setting a bad example to the world with the mindset that as they would never be used they are completely pointless. I thought the NATO membership assured US protection with their huge nuclear stockpile and first rate military. However recently I have changed my mind on the issue.

As a nuclear armed nation the UK can effectively defend itself even against the world's superpowers. Russia or China would avoid war or conflict with us unless we were acting provocatively towards them as the threat of nuclear attack from our trident submarines would need a very big motive to be worthwhile. It also means we don't really need US military protection or need to maintain our relationship with them at all costs. Other countries in Europe not armed with nuclear weapons are strategically and politically disadvantaged to such an extent compared to the UK and France I think the colossal costs of nuclear weapons are worthwhile.

In an ideal world I would like to see a complete ban on nuclear weapons but that's never going to happen and if it did trusting other countries not to have a secret stockpile would be too risky. Therefore for national security reasons and greater political and military influence I think having nuclear weapons is a net benefit to a European country. If Ukraine hadent signed away the world's 3rd biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons I don't think Russia would be messing with its borders. That's the key issue I think. The deterrent.
Midnight1131
Posts: 1,643
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12/16/2015 4:19:38 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 1:05:29 AM, beng100 wrote:
It is an interesting question. I'm from the uk and we are one of just two nuclear armed European nations the other being France. I was on the side of seeing them as a waste of money and setting a bad example to the world with the mindset that as they would never be used they are completely pointless. I thought the NATO membership assured US protection with their huge nuclear stockpile and first rate military. However recently I have changed my mind on the issue.

As a nuclear armed nation the UK can effectively defend itself even against the world's superpowers. Russia or China would avoid war or conflict with us unless we were acting provocatively towards them as the threat of nuclear attack from our trident submarines would need a very big motive to be worthwhile. It also means we don't really need US military protection or need to maintain our relationship with them at all costs. Other countries in Europe not armed with nuclear weapons are strategically and politically disadvantaged to such an extent compared to the UK and France I think the colossal costs of nuclear weapons are worthwhile.

In an ideal world I would like to see a complete ban on nuclear weapons but that's never going to happen and if it did trusting other countries not to have a secret stockpile would be too risky. Therefore for national security reasons and greater political and military influence I think having nuclear weapons is a net benefit to a European country. If Ukraine hadent signed away the world's 3rd biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons I don't think Russia would be messing with its borders. That's the key issue I think. The deterrent.

Yeah, at this point, every country that has nuclear weapons can't be expected to get rid of them. Now that all sides have access to nuclear weapons or have the means to get them, it's unreasonable to expect any side to willingly dispose of their weapons without having the others do the same.
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Emilrose
Posts: 2,479
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12/16/2015 6:59:12 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
No, they do not. Largely because they fulfil no real purpose and are a misuse of financial resources. Though countries like the U.K and France feel they may be of benefit at some point--to 'need' something, it actually has to be essential and there is no example to show that they are. The likelihood of ever having to use such weapons out of *necessity* is extremely slim.
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