Campaigners criticise exclusion of Trident from Strategic Defence Review

By staff writers
June 16, 2010

Campaigners have criticised Liam Fox's decision not to include Trident in the Strategic Defence Review, saying it is mystifying how he could express the need for a "clean break" from Cold War-legacy thinking without being willing to review the "greatest Cold War legacy" - the Trident nuclear weapon system.

On Sunday, on the BBC1's Politics Show, Fox said: "We need now to say goodbye to the Cold War", that the UK's military needed to "change in light of the threats the country faces". He went on to say, "you don't simply say you're going to rule out x, y or z in advance."

The weapon has been described by senior military figures as "completely useless".

CND Chair Kate Hudson, said: "This is Back to the Future stuff. Liam Fox is saying we need to move on from Cold War thinking but reaching the same conclusions on defence that Margaret Thatcher did. There can be no break from the Cold War without reconsidering Trident.

She also drew attention to the Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment not to renew Trident. "Where do the Liberal Democrats stand on this?" she said. "Will they be proposing alternatives as the coalition agreement stated or have they accepted the Conservatives' decision? It is also incumbent on Harriet Harman as the Labour Party's acting leader, and all her would-be replacements, to show some leadership and call on the government to ensure a proper review including Trident.

"CND strongly believes the government must include Trident, the greatest Cold War legacy, if a Strategic Defence Review is to be at all meaningful. If the government is to say goodbye to the Cold War, it must be prepared to end reinvestment in major Cold War military hardware. Liam Fox recently said that Trident's value for money would be included in the review - so that is the opportunity for the Lib Dems to question like-for-like replacement or, as we believe, the chance to show that the best value for money - and the best for our security - is not to replace Trident at all."


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