A Response to Admiral Gower’s assertion that UK Trident will only be used as a ‘Last Resort’ and that the Military are not involved in a decision to carry out an attack.
I am a former Royal Navy (RN) submarine officer who commanded conventional and nuclear
submarines, served in the Polaris Force as 2nd in command and in command and was Commanding Officer of the rigorous UK submarine captain’s training course known as ‘The Perisher’. In recent years, alarmed by the effect that the cost of Trident and its replacement are having on the RN in both financial and operational terms, I have studied Government (HMG) policy closely to identify the rationale for retention of the ‘Deterrent’ so long after the Cold War ended, with the consequences that UK Trident missiles have not been targeted since 1994, and for over 20 years have been at “several days’ notice to fire”. In the process I have found that the Government and MoD are being less than straightforward in their response to any who question continuing with Trident for a further 40 years at a lifetime cost in excess of £150Bn. This is exhibited by an article published by Admiral John Gower (formerly Mod Nuclear Policy Department) on the Nautilus Institute website…. see the full version as a pdf here.