CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'NUCLEAR DETERRENT'

Daily Telegraph – 13 February 2013

The five main arguments of Des Browne and Ian Kearns against Trident renewal are unconvincing (Comment, February 6). The emergence of new threats below the nuclear threshold in no way prevents the re-emergence of more traditional ones in future. A belief that "large-scale use of nuclear weapons" would cause global agriculture to collapse will not deter a state from selectively using nuclear weapons. The possession of such devices by "some of the most unstable countries" is an argument against weakening the British deterrent, not one in favour of doing so.

No amount of conventional weaponry can protect a non-nuclear state against an aggressor armed with even a few nuclear devices. Finally, a part-time nuclear capability would undermine the certainty of response, which is the essence of strategic deterrence. It could encourage a pre-emptive attack, and would exacerbate a looming crisis if sent to sea only during a period of tension. The case for the Trident successor system remains conclusive.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA