This is an op-ed written by /u/Walter_heisenberg2
If you think that the principles of Clement Atlee are something that the Labour Party adheres to religiously and if you think that Labour believes in a strong foreign policy and promoting peace around the world. You are deeply mistaken. Don’t believe me? Just look at the most recent Trident debate and the Labour conference that preceded it. In both instances, Labour has chosen to bravely take a stance against the threat of nuclear war. Now you may be inclined to think that this is great and that Labour is trying to strengthen the JCPOA or perhaps trying to bravely take a stand against North Korea or Russia. However, you’d be wrong instead of taking a stand against rogue states and oppressive regimes like Russia the Labour Party has chosen to take a stand against…
The British Nuclear deterrent. Yes you read this right Labour wants to prevent the threat of a nuclear attack by removing the only line of defence Britain has against one. In the words of the Foreign Secretary /u/InfernoPlato: “Multilateral disarmament is naturally superior as it means we can use our nuclear weapons as an incentive to descale the nuclear stockpile of other states who are more reluctant to disarm. Further, states such as North Korea are seeking nuclear weapons. Were every country to disarm and NK was left the only nuclear power, would that be an ideal situation for Labour?”
Now the merits of denuclearisation can be discussed and rightly so. After all, nuclear weapons are the most destructive and indiscriminately weapons ever created by man. However unilateral disarmament does not work. For instance, Ukraine has chosen to unilaterally disarm. Let’s see how that worked out for them…In 2014 they were invaded by Russia despite guarantees given to it by the United States and Russia…… Of course, scrapping Trident does not mean that swarms of Spetsnaz operators will descend upon Portsmouth nor that we will become a Russian or Chinese puppet, but in the long-term, a British withdrawal from NATO and unilateral denuclearisation would inevitably result in a shift in the balance of power that would not be good for the western world. A shift that would in all likelihood be a gift to Russia, China and Iran; as well as a detriment to our friends and allies across the globe.
Furthermore, an even bigger unknown is whether Labour could find an alternative “insurance policy”. The US nuclear umbrella and NATO nuclear weapon sharing, the “German Model” seem off the table as some in Labour, including the Shadow Chancellor who has called for a British withdrawal from the treaty. Furthermore, there is no weapons system besides having nuclear weapons that can protect us from a nuclear attack. This leaves any prospective Labour Foreign Secretary with no realistic alternative, barring either neutrality in some form of rapprochement with other nuclear powers like Russia or India?
A different option was also presented by the Shadow Chancellor – the man behind these foreign policy reforms has also said the following about NATO: “Reform and replace. I mean replace is well compatible with this motion, and it’s darn hard to replace NATO if we just keep expanding it, and expansion makes it harder to reform as it further antagonises Russia.” However, what does that mean? Does the Shadow Chancellor imply that we should just leave Eastern Europe to Russia and that’s why he and by extension large chunks of the Labour Party are in opposition to Trident and NATO?
One thing that is certain is that any government that chooses to scrap Trident must come up with an effective insurance policy and no, Labour’s splendid isolation and CND slogans do not count as such.
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