This volume provides a study of the current UK nuclear program and related issues that reflect the complexity of the Trident weapons system and the changing nature of deterrence. Presenting the political, cultural, technical, and strategic aspects of Trident it provides a thoughtful overview of the UK’s complex relationship with nuclear weapons.
Since 1969, the United Kingdom always has always had one submarine armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles underwater, undetected, in constant communication, ready at a set notice to fire at targets anywhere in the world. This is part of its Trident Programme, which includes the development, procurement, and operation of the current generation of British nuclear weapons, as well as the means to deliver them. Operated by the Royal Navy and based at Clyde Naval Base on Scotland’s west coast, it is the most expensive and most powerful capability of the British military forces.
In 2016, the United Kingdom had to decide on whether to go ahead and build the next generation of nuclear submarines that will allow the UK to remain in the nuclear business well into the second half of this century. The book presents the political, cultural, technical, and strategic aspects of Trident to provide a thoughtful overview of the UK’s complex relationship with nuclear weapons. The authors, both scholars and practitioners, bring together diverse perspectives on the issue, discussing the importance of UK nuclear history as well as the political, legal, and diplomatic aspects of UK nuclear weapons—internationally and domestically. Also addressed are the new technical, military, and strategic challenges to the UK nuclear thinking and strategy.
Foreword – Sir Lawrence Freedman
Introduction: the Trident debate renewed – Andrew Futter
Part I – British Nuclear Strategy: History and Culture
Chapter 1: 70 years of British Nuclear Debates – Daniel Salisbury
Chapter 2: The UK Nuclear Deterrent – David Jarvis
Chapter 3: UK Trident Renewal – Kristan Stoddart
Chapter 4: The Silence of British Nuclear Culture – Jon Hogg
Part II – Trident Renewal
Chapter 5: The Heterogeneity of UK Military Views on Nuclear Weapons – Henrietta Wilson
Chapter 6: The Trident Renewal Decision, the UK and the NPT – Shatabhisha Shetty & Lukasz Kulesa
Chapter 7: The Legality and Legitimacy of Trident Renewal – William Walker
Chapter 8: Trident and the Special Relationship – Heather Williams
Chapter 9: Dangerous and Inhumane – Rebecca Johnson
Chapter 10: Bairns Not Bombs – Catherine Eschle
Part III – Next steps, Politics and Future Challenges
Chapter 11: Sustaining Trident – Nick Ritchie
Chapter 12: Next Steps in the UK's Nuclear Warhead Programme– Peter Burt
Chapter 13: The Future of Political Opposition to Trident – Toby Fenwick
Chapter 14: Future Challenges for UK Nuclear Deterrence – Andrew Futter
About the Contributors