Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Open Letter to Julian Sturdy on use of nuclear weapons

Dear Mr Sturdy,

Thank you for your letter of 11 February outlining your position on nuclear weapons where you say that you would not rule out the first use of nuclear weapons, and by implication of other things that you say in the letter that you would be willing to see nuclear weapons used against countries that do not possess any.

Given this I would be grateful if you could tell me under what circumstances you personally would be willing to see nuclear weapons being used, as I think that some clarity in the debate would be really helpful

Best wishes
Tom Franklin
4 Frazer Court
YO30 5FH

1 comment:

Tom said...

Julian Sturdy MP's response to my initial letter...

11 February 2016

Dear Mr Franklin

Thank you very much for taking the time to contact me regarding Trident and EDM 280.

You stated in your email that Britain has a ’no-first-strike policy' for the use of its nuclear weapons. This is not necessarily the case given that NATO does not accept this policy. For this reason, it always strikes me as somewhat odd to unilaterally disarm yet remain a member of NATO. One could argue that we should leave NATO, however, i strongly disagree with this view and believe that such a move would undermine both global and British security.

I must disagree with your assertion that the USA 'controls the [nuclear] weapons anyhow’. Launching Trident would not require permission or codes from the United States. Whilst it is the case that parts of the Trident warheads are manufactured in the United States and we use servicing facilities in on the Eastern Seaboard, this certainly does not undermine our
independence in terms of launching the warheads.

The Trident renewal should ensure that Britain possesses a nuclear capacity up until the 20405, geopolitical developments in this time are extremely difficult to comprehend. However, what is undeniable is that a nuclear deterrence acts, and will continue to act, as the ultimate insurance policy for Britain. Your email contained brief summaries of the extent to which the UK faces threats from other nuclear-powers. However, it is entirely plausible that more nations could develop a nuclear arsenal in the upcoming decades.

You also mentioned a number of countries that do not currently have missiles capable of reaching the UK. i feel that it is important to remember that we are dealing with dynamic concepts and should be wary of the problems and issues that may come to fruition in the longer—term. I predict that the nuclear capabilities of those' countries you mentioned will be improved somewhat between today and 2040.

I sincerely hope to see a world without nuclear weapons in the not too distant future. However, I remain completely unconvinced that British unilateralism is the most effective way of ensuring this and more to the point, would be downright dangerous at this time. In my opinion, Britain has no option but to possess a nuclear deterrence for as long as there are those evil regimes in the world who seek to put a definitive end to our way of life. On this point I am resolute.

The cost of renewing Trident is considerable, but sadly the potential costs of not renewing Trident are far greater. This is a sad state of affairs, but I could never support something that I felt undermined the defence of the realm.

For the reasons given above, I did not sign EDM 280 and shall continue to support the renewal of Trident.

If you have any further concerns or queries which you would like to raise with me, please do not hesitate to ask.

Julian Sturdy