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Rather they exist without nuclear weapons at their disposal personally.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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Rather they exist without nuclear weapons at their disposal personally.

Well yeah, so would I, but what does us having them have to do with them having them?
 

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Ian_Wrexham

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I'm pretty sure that Eastern Europe didn't have nukes, and if it had, then the Russians wouldn't have swallowed it up. Similarly had the Faklland Islanders, Algerians or North Vietnamese had nukes then there would have been no conflicts in the first place. Japan and Taiwan have only stayed safe through alliances with another nuclear power, same goes for most of Europe. The question I suppose you have to ask is whether you want to be responsible for your own safety, or gamble it on the benevolence of the Americans and/or French.

That doesn't make any sense. You're at the same time arguing that countries that manage long-standing hostile relations with nuclear neighbours are protected by alliances with nuclear powers, but that the Falklands War could have been prevented by nukes (as if the Falklands are a different country to Britain anyway).

Anyway Stalin couldn't use nuclear diplomacy to bring Tito to heel (nor did the breakdown of Yugoslav-Soviet relations force Tito to seek protection from USA and NATO), The US prevent Stalin's creation of the Eastern bloc and blockade of Berlin. Israel's nukes didn't prevent the Yom Kippur war. USA's nukes didn't prevent Chinese intervention during the Korean war (despite enthusiasm among elements within the US army for a nuclear attack on China).

This idea of nuclear peace is a fantasy and requires and extraordinary amount of flawed reasoning to give any credence at all.
 

Ian_Wrexham

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This is still excellent and very funny on the logical flaws of the nuclear deterrent fans

 

Tilbury

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The nuclear problem I think we're likely face in future is from terrorist groups. If, for example, Al Qaeda acquired and launched one, the nuclear deterrent is pretty useless since they don't have a 'home' so to speak that we can retaliate against. Considering how many bombs have simply been lost, it's kinda surprising some sort of nuclear attack hasn't been carried out already.
 

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When do we let them fly over our territory?

No idea how often it is, but I know for a fact they flew over this week. Check out the Open skies treaty, numerous nations from NATO and the warsaw pact are signed up.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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That doesn't make any sense. You're at the same time arguing that countries that manage long-standing hostile relations with nuclear neighbours are protected by alliances with nuclear powers, but that the Falklands War could have been prevented by nukes (as if the Falklands are a different country to Britain anyway).

The Argentinians didn't believe that Britain would even attempt to retake the islands, much less launch a nuclear retaliation. That's a consequence of poor Argentinian intelligence and our own nuclear policy, it's not a flaw in the logic that people will refrain from doing stuff if they think it might get them vaporized. Now had the islanders had their finger on the button, then it would no doubt have been a different story.

Anyway Stalin couldn't use nuclear diplomacy to bring Tito to heel (nor did the breakdown of Yugoslav-Soviet relations force Tito to seek protection from USA and NATO), The US prevent Stalin's creation of the Eastern bloc and blockade of Berlin. Israel's nukes didn't prevent the Yom Kippur war. USA's nukes didn't prevent Chinese intervention during the Korean war (despite enthusiasm among elements within the US army for a nuclear attack on China).

This idea of nuclear peace is a fantasy and requires and extraordinary amount of flawed reasoning to give any credence at all.

If your point is that nuclear weapons are not some kind of anti-war panacea then that's nice, but I don't see anyone making that argument in the first place. I said that Japan and Taiwan have only stayed safe through alliances with a nuclear power, not that alliances with nuclear powers offer an infallible guarantee of safety, and certainly not that you'll get nuked if you don't have one. I would hardly have characterized the status of the Yugoslavian breakaway state as "safe", much like other former Soviet states today. Well, apart from the ones that are part of a nuclear defence pact of course. As for the Eastern bloc, Korea and Israel, there was no threat of nuclear retaliation to my knowledge. In fact the existence of Israel's nukes were not even acknowledged by Israeli state back then, so not much of a deterrent there.

Do people seriously believe the looming World War between the West and Russia during the 20th century would have been averted without the threat of total annihilation? Or the countless other conflicts that are now made unthinkable?
 
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HertsWolf

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No idea how often it is, but I know for a fact they flew over this week. Check out the Open skies treaty, numerous nations from NATO and the warsaw pact are signed up.

IIRC these overflights are in international airspace. The way we did it to them for 50 years from Akrotiri and Bardufoss. Except we didn't. We flew over their airspace. Until they shot Powers down. Then we flew higher. The trouble is that we tend to view ourselves as 'good' and them (whoever 'them' is these days) as 'bad'. Personally, it's the bald guy with the white cat that worries me most. Is that Blofeldt or Andropov?
 

HertsWolf

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Do people seriously believe the looming World War between the West and Russia during the 20th century would have been averted without the threat of total annihilation? Or the countless other conflicts that are now made unthinkable?

Yes. And yes.
 

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IIRC these overflights are in international airspace. The way we did it to them for 50 years from Akrotiri and Bardufoss. Except we didn't. We flew over their airspace. Until they shot Powers down. Then we flew higher. The trouble is that we tend to view ourselves as 'good' and them (whoever 'them' is these days) as 'bad'. Personally, it's the bald guy with the white cat that worries me most. Is that Blofeldt or Andropov?

No they are not, they fly from Brize Norton and over military sites in the UK. The same as all the other countries signed up.
 

HertsWolf

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No they are not, they fly from Brize Norton and over military sites in the UK. The same as all the other countries signed up.
Ah OK. Apologies. I thought you were referring to the overflights that keep getting reported in the Daily Mail and Express.
 

Gladders

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Ah OK. Apologies. I thought you were referring to the overflights that keep getting reported in the Daily Mail and Express.

No they are not overflights, and have been happening for years, they are just testing our reaction and defences to them getting close to our airspace.

Over flights are done by unarmed reconnaissance aircraft and agreed before hand and can only be denied on flight safety grounds not national security
 

Ian_Wrexham

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The Argentinians didn't believe that Britain would even attempt to retake the islands, much less launch a nuclear retaliation. That's a consequence of poor Argentinian intelligence and our own nuclear policy, it's not a flaw in the logic that people will refrain from doing stuff if they think it might get them vaporized. Now had the islanders had their finger on the button, then it would no doubt have been a different story.

If your point is that nuclear weapons are not some kind of anti-war panacea then that's nice, but I don't see anyone making that argument in the first place. I said that Japan and Taiwan have only stayed safe through alliances with a nuclear power, not that alliances with nuclear powers offer an infallible guarantee of safety, and certainly not that you'll get nuked if you don't have one. I would hardly have characterized the status of the Yugoslavian breakaway state as "safe", much like other former Soviet states today. Well, apart from the ones that are part of a nuclear defence pact of course. As for the Eastern bloc, Korea and Israel, there was no threat of nuclear retaliation to my knowledge. In fact the existence of Israel's nukes were not even acknowledged by Israeli state back then, so not much of a deterrent there.

Do people seriously believe the looming World War between the West and Russia during the 20th century would have been averted without the threat of total annihilation? Or the countless other conflicts that are now made unthinkable?

Well, in Korea at least there were advanced plans to nuke China (including draft orders from General MacArthur to authorise the launch).

Are you arguing that simply having nuclear weapons isn't enough? That deterrence requires you to actually threaten people with them? Britain being able to reduce Buenos Aires to a smouldering heap of radioactive rubble clearly didn't factor particularly highly into the Argentine Junta's risk assessment when it was there as a passive deterrent. So what do we need to do? Ring them up once a week and tell them not to try anything?

I'm not sure where this debate is going. I've given you countless examples of nuclear deterrence not working and of states that don't have a nuclear deterrent successfully deterring attack by other means. Yet you insist it works by saying world wars that were rendered unlikely by other geopolitical factors were "inevitable". In fact the biggest flashpoint that might have triggered a war was a crisis about nuclear missiles.

I don't think you've advanced a good argument for nuclear deterrent being worth persisting with.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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Well, in Korea at least there were advanced plans to nuke China (including draft orders from General MacArthur to authorise the launch).

Are you arguing that simply having nuclear weapons isn't enough? That deterrence requires you to actually threaten people with them? Britain being able to reduce Buenos Aires to a smouldering heap of radioactive rubble clearly didn't factor particularly highly into the Argentine Junta's risk assessment when it was there as a passive deterrent. So what do we need to do? Ring them up once a week and tell them not to try anything?

The junta thought we wouldn't give two shits about the islands. They thought we'd just let them get on with it. But yes, without their use being believable they are no deterrent at all. That's why using proxy wars and territories on the other side of the world make for poor examples. I suggested we needed them to thwart an unforeseen existential threat to Britain first and foremost, not to project power all over the place. The only analogous example to this that you've provided is the Israeli one, but given that their nukes were kept a secret, there was no deterrent to speak of.

I'm not sure where this debate is going. I've given you countless examples of nuclear deterrence not working and of states that don't have a nuclear deterrent successfully deterring attack by other means.

The latter point was never in dispute (and I don't get why you think it's important given how many fail spectacularly), and the former point isn't really true. There was never any threat of nuclear attack in any of the examples you put forward. Besides, this is all something of a false dichotomy. Just because the nuclear deterrent isn't perfect that doesn't mean it's unimportant. It's still the only reliable counter to an aggressive nuclear state, and we have no idea what the future holds.
 

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You got any evidence to suggest deterrence works? Or just some vague future scare-stories? Threat of use of nuclear weapons is against international law, so deterrence simply doesn't make sense.

Not sure we should be paying £100bn indulging people's irrational beliefs.
 

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You got any evidence to suggest deterrence works? Or just some vague future scare-stories? Threat of use of nuclear weapons is against international law, so deterrence simply doesn't make sense.

Not sure we should be paying £100bn indulging people's irrational beliefs.

Got any evidence that deterrence doesn't work? and don't use Argentina attacking some islands 8000 miles away as evidence.
 

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Proving a nuclear deterrent works is a bit like trying to prove the death penalty works. Without some divine God like machine that can enter into the minds of would be megalomaniac world leaders we can't tell how it factors into their decision making.

Im inclined to think it did work, based on the absence of any conflict between world powers for the last 70 years.

Is it what we need now though? Not so sure.
 

Ian_Wrexham

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Got any evidence that deterrence doesn't work? and don't use Argentina attacking some islands 8000 miles away as evidence.

I've given literally a dozen or so examples that suggest that the outlandish claims made about nukes ("nuclear weapons should be given the nobel peace prize") are nonsense. tbh I think those advocating nukes need to advance a proper argument for keeping them.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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You got any evidence to suggest deterrence works?

Well it's a bit like trying to prove a negative isn't it? The absence of full scale warfare between nuclear states is a good place to start. I'm not sure throughout modern human history we've seen major powers show such restraint towards one another since the advent of nuclear weapons. The best and only real example I could find to try and falsify my position is a few minor skirmishes between the Indians and Pakistanis along their border. I dunno, I think it's much harder to believe that people would ignore the threat of total annihilation than not, and if nuclear weapons were so arbitrary to the equation then we'd no doubt have had a nuclear war by now, or at the very least consider it far more likely than we do.

I've given literally a dozen or so examples that suggest that the outlandish claims made about nukes ("nuclear weapons should be given the nobel peace prize") are nonsense. tbh I think those advocating nukes need to advance a proper argument for keeping them.

The examples you've given (and there weren't dozens of them) really don't suggest that though. They were all relatively minor conflicts, mostly proxy wars and territorial disputes, none of which were between nuclear powers. To point to those as proof that nuclear weapons haven't served peace is like pointing to someone with a bacterial infection and concluding that Penicillin wasn't that great an invention.
 

Ian_Wrexham

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Well it's a bit like trying to prove a negative isn't it?

No, not really. You can look at comparable countries that don't have nukes and see if they're constantly getting invaded. Even if we ascribe that to "alliances with nuclear countries" (forgetting that e.g. Sweden have not been members of Nato) that doesn't mean we need to spend over a hundred billion pounds on nuclear weapons.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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No, not really. You can look at comparable countries that don't have nukes and see if they're constantly getting invaded.

The absence of nuclear weapons does not automatically and immediately make someone a target for aggression, it just makes them more vulnerable once they are. You can't point to examples of non-nuclear powers that haven't been invaded and then conclude that nuclear weapons can't help keep any peace, that's not logical captain. A more sensible approach would be to look and see if the countries that actually are being invaded all lack nuclear weapons, which they do.

Even if we ascribe that to "alliances with nuclear countries" (forgetting that e.g. Sweden have not been members of Nato) that doesn't mean we need to spend over a hundred billion pounds on nuclear weapons.

It does depending on how many risks you want to take. Alliances break down and nuclear deterrents take years to implement. And Sweden is part of a mutual defence pact with two other nuclear powers, it's just in the form of the Lisbon Treaty instead of NATO.
 

Ian_Wrexham

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The absence of nuclear weapons does not automatically and immediately make someone a target for aggression, it just makes them more vulnerable once they are. You can't point to examples of non-nuclear powers that haven't been invaded and then conclude that nuclear weapons can't help keep any peace, that's not logical captain. A more sensible approach would be to look and see if the countries that actually are being invaded all lack nuclear weapons, which they do.

Apart from Israel, right?
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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Apart from Israel, right?

But at the time Israel denied possessing any nuclear weapons, and as a matter of policy still don't acknowledge that they do, so how could they have used them as a deterrent?
 
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nuclear weapons are terrible, horrific weapons. would any of u ever advocate their use? say we got nuked by iran in a terrible hypothetical situation. would u want us to nuke back? the victims of iran's nuke would be innocent men, women and children. the victims of ours would be so too. it works as a deterrent but u have to follow through with your threat and the possibility that we MIGHT fills me with revulsion and terror. practically speaking it's our network of economic interdependence, and our active participation in transnational organisations and alliances, that guarantees our safety. if a non-nuclear power in our alliance structure, say sweden, got bombed we'd respond, no? nato can take the nukes. france can take the nukes. u.s. can take the nukes. the knowledge that we have such close allies as those is enough to deter any actual aggression. ofc there will be none from a state actor, MAD assures us of that. any nuclear response to a non-state actor would be plain evil at best so we have no need to worry bout that either

plus there's the whole thang that we, as a species, have gradually been moving towards disarmament. even those two nobs the u.s. and russia. if they can gradually move towards it we sure as shit can't head in the opposite direction
 
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Ebeneezer Goode

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I would support a retaliatory strike, absolutely. It would probably save more lives in the long run.

It's easy to argue that right this second our peace is maintained by our alliances and the interconnectedness of the world in the absence of an obvious threat, and even if we accept that as true, these deterrents take years to implement. They're not built for this second, they're built for unforeseen threats and whatever the future may hold, of which we have no idea. I think alliances are an obvious and decent short term solution, but they're also a gamble because you can't predict their longevity any more than you can predict potential threats. I think the issue really boils down to whether you're prepared to take that chance or not, and I think if we don't need to, then we definitely shouldn't.

I don't see any superpower ever disarming completely. There is no benefit to it. It's a position of supreme weakness, and weakness gets exploited. This is the problem with all of these hippy dippy visions of the future. They all depend on human beings not acting like human beings.
 

Ian_Wrexham

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It's weird how enthusiastic you are to murder thousands of people. Very strange. It's a fanaticism not really backed up by any evidence or logic.

It's important to note that contrary to nuclear-fanboys assertions nuking Japan didn't actually save any lives - Japan had been ready to surrender on terms nearly identical to the ones that were eventually accepted months before the end of the war.

Diplomacy could have saved hundreds and thousands of lives - not just the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but the hundreds of thousands who died in the firebombing of Tokyo and other attacks on civilian targets.

Imagine if China nuked a disarmed America though. The biggest losers (after America) would probably wind up being China cos their economy is dependent on trade with America.
 

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Imagine if China nuked a disarmed America though. The biggest losers (after America) would probably wind up being China cos their economy is dependent on trade with America.

1. I agree with your point about Japan, but it's got precious little to do with Trident or Britain's requirement (or not) for a nuclear detterant.

2. Regarding the quote: countries that are massively economically interdependant have gone to war in the past, it'll probably happen again.
 

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