Letter: Defence options: a poll on Ulster; weapons obsessions

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The Independent Online
Sir: The most disappointing aspect of the Defence White Paper is its continuing refusal to acknowledge any connection between Britain's nuclear weapons policy and its non-proliferation objectives. If our nuclear forces 'provide the ultimate guarantee of the United Kingdom's security' why are we seeking to deny other countries similar security? Why does the MoD want to deploy more strategic warheads than it deemed necessary during the Cold War? No explanation is provided.

Nor is any attempt made to justify why the MoD is still considering spending hundreds of millions of pounds on a new air-launched sub-strategic weapon when it has admitted that Trident could perform this role adequately.

Moreover, why has the British Government humiliated itself in its failed opposition to a test ban for the sake of developing a warhead for which there is no strategic, military or political rationale? We deserve some proper answers and other signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty are certain to demand them at the Extension Conference in 1995.

Yours faithfully,


Executive Director

International Security Information Service

London, WC2

6 July