February 28, 2005
Hattersley on the Nuclear Deterrent.
Three things to say about Hattersley’s piece on the nuclear deterrent:
The deterrent deterred. It kept Europe at peace - or at least free from a major war - for half a century.
So it wasn’t the European Union then? Good, that’s one argument out of the way.
It was absurd for Britain to waste money on what Harold Wilson called "the so-called British, so-called independent nuclear deterrent". It still is.
I’m perfectly willing to listen to people who say that nuclear weapons don’t work any more, have lost their usefulness, but not to those who think that scrapping them will save money. The whole point about nuclear bombs is that they are cheap, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Scrapping Trident might be a good idea, but it won’t save money, we’d need a rise in the defense budget, more tanks, ships, guns, men.
It would be absurd to spend money that is desperately needed for other government enterprises on "upgrading" and "hardening" the missile system so that it can be used, as it always must be, in conjunction with the US.
Hah! Thought so. the idea that a reduction in government spending on one thing might lead to people keeping more of their own money never even crossed his mind.
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Posted by: Blimpish | Feb 28, 2005 10:30:27 AM
Well, hey. It's nice to hear somebody just saying out loud, explicitly, "we should disarm because the Americans will protect us anyway — and then we can denounce them for squandering so much money on [our] defense!" It's vaguely obnoxious but it's a lot less annoying than the dingbats who insist that the absence of recent wars in Europe proves not that deterrence works, but rather that it was unnecessary to begin with.
"Why are the Dutch still wasting money repairing dikes? There hasn't been a flood in decades! They must be neurotic or paranoid or something."
However, the party ends as the EU drifts ever farther from the US and the new multipolar world order springs into being, at which point we in the States won't necessarily care whether anybody invades Europe or not. But they're right not to worry about it. Europe probably won't last long enough for it to become an issue.
This guy thinks the Atlantic alliance is eternal. Does he live in a cave?
Posted by: Blavdak Vinomori | Feb 28, 2005 4:42:34 PM
I've had similar thoughts myself, BV, but it always comes down to this: we will help in them in a jam, just because we always have. We're stuck to Europe like that two-tone guy in the old Star Trek episode, whose black side couldn't stand living with his white side.
But next time there's a spot of trouble, I suspect we should let Europe get cut up a bit before we jump in and help, to remind people like Hattersley what evil Yankee war-mongering KKKapitalists are for.
Posted by: Irene Adler | Feb 28, 2005 6:30:13 PM
Hattersley's one of those useful reverse barometers, like Simon Jenkins or Moonbat. You can pretty much bet that if he's for it, sensible people are agin it (c.f. also Toynbee, Polly; Younge, Gary; others can be to added to the list ad libertam).
Posted by: David Gillies | Feb 28, 2005 7:31:30 PM
"I’m perfectly willing to listen to people who say that nuclear weapons don’t work any more, have lost their usefulness..."
I would listen to them just long enough for them to suggest that position to Iran, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia (yes, SA), Libya (at least until recently, so we are told), Egypt, South Africa...shall I go on?
Nice post. I especially like your last assertion about the unthinkable...saving 'other-people's-money' and actually returning it.
What a wonderful find...an intelligent British conservative blog...and found you quite by accident.
Posted by: USMC_Vet | Feb 28, 2005 8:33:45 PM
Irene, we did actually let them get kicked around (or rather kick themselves around) quite a bit in 1937-1941 (not counting Lend/Lease, of course) and 1914-1917. But you're probably right that we'd step in again if need be, and this time we probably wouldn't wait. Spam and Hershey bars for the nuance-artistes!
Posted by: Blavdak Vinomori | Feb 28, 2005 8:34:19 PM