" We are strong enough because we have a profound religious faith. The basic source of our strength as a nation is spiritual. We believe in the dignity of man. We believe that he is created in the image of God, who is the Father of us all." These were the words of Harry S. Truman, President of the United States 1944-1952. This same man went on to authorise the atomic bombing of Japan.
What has the above piece of American history got to do with Britain? It is relevant to every citizen of every nation because we must be reminded from time to time that the stratospheric environment of the decision-makers can be dominated by people of faith who don't know the difference between right and wrong.
Tony Blair has set up a faith foundation to make ours a better world. Nevertheless, Blair does not understand that the building and maintaining of nuclear weapons systems is the most un-Christian act conceivable. As prime minister, he advised the nation in 2006 not to dismantle the country's nuclear deterrent - but to improve on it.
(It was Blair's ability to convince others to see the boogie men he sees which led to the British invasion of Iraq. This was an invasion which destroyed much of the nation's infrastructure, caused casualties estimated to be as high as one million and converted over four million of its citizens into displaced persons.)
By 1949, the USSR had the bomb - and Great Britain did not look so great. Even though the USA could more than keep the USSR in check, Britain's need to own one of these glamourous objects had nothing to do with national security. It is hard to believe that the possession of weapons capable of destroying a city of non-combatants could be a status symbol.
Today the British people intuitively know that a stupid and dangerous situation has evolved. They intuitively know that to every action there is a reaction and distrust by one nation must generate distrust in another. But, what can the common man do to stop those who are able to claw their way to the top in the system from doing their worst? Just one of many tragic examples; in 1914 the millions of mothers of Britain (most with little education) knew to a woman that the looming war on the mainland of Europe was to be avoided, but the government (mostly of upper class gentlemen) fell straight into it.
We have the 'miracle of life' due to mysterious phenomena arising out of the movement of atoms and sub-atomic particles within an organic structure. In other words, we have life because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In their defence policies, nations tend to move in the opposite direction to where the whole is less than the sum of its parts. (Which begs the question; on this one planet occupied by one human species - do we need nations?)
Since 1945, the power of nuclear weapons has increased many times beyond that of the Hiroshima bomb and the stockpiles have run into thousands. Now we are all aware that the entire biosphere can be made uninhabitable for mammals in a nuclear exchange. The glamour has gone as evidenced by an impoverished North Korea dropping to the status of a fool when it announced that it had successfully tested a nuclear device.
We know that we have gone too far. But, if you go too far in anything, don't you attempt to step back? Mature individuals do this, but for nations, they either don't, or take decades to do it due to entrenched structures and the people within them that navigate through the structure as they aim for increased personal power. Such complex structures make it difficult for the whole not to become less than the sum of its parts.
A cost/risk analysis
The total of Britain's nuclear deterrent is located in its four nuclear powered submarines. Four are necessary to ensure that one will be at sea at all times. So, the British deterrent is down to one sub (which, of course, may be accidentally lost while 'on station'). It seems that each sub can launch 16 ballistic missiles which in total can then breakup into 48 independently targeted warheads. That is enough to destroy any country's ability to function (one must wonder why the world has around 20,000 nuclear weapons).
At what cost to the British public does this strange form of security come? This is what some British parliamentarians are asking themselves as the present subs and their armament approaches obsolescence.
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