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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
coth
Apr. 24th, 2013 08:08 am (UTC)
The DWP page does not work with any up-to-date browser, seems like. How the hell do they get away with providing that as a public service?
geekette8
Apr. 24th, 2013 12:15 pm (UTC)
That DWP website is astonishing. About the only good thing is that at least they are upfront about it, whereas many websites are similarly limited but don't actually say so. I could rant for hours about my attempts to submit security clearance forms online...

Also, on that Twitter one, my work AV gives me:
High Risk Website Blocked
Location: www.ismytwitterpasswordsecure.com
Access has been blocked as the threat Mal/HTMLGen-A has been found on this website.
emmzzi
Apr. 24th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
me too re: twitter
yea_mon
Apr. 25th, 2013 05:13 am (UTC)
Trident
Nick Harvey doesn't make a cogent argument for scrapping Trident's replacement. The Cold War may be over, but that does not preclude future conflict. Wars were supposed to be a thing of the past after WWI, and for a brief period after WWII - until the Korean War shocked the world.

Also, if "state-on-state" war being a thing of the past makes the case for scrapping the deterrent, then the US, China, Russia, France, and a few other select nations have not heeded it.

Here in Japan we currently shelter under the US deterrent. It has no immediate back up if that deterrent is withdrawn. Europe can rely on the UK and French deterrents in addition to the US shield.
nwhyte
Apr. 25th, 2013 10:27 am (UTC)
Re: Trident
I think the burden of proof is on those who want to retain it, given the immense cost, and Harvey's thoughts are probably not well represented in a newspaper article.

Charles Stross has put it more analytically:
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/04/on-the-uk-and-nuclear-disarmam.html
yea_mon
Apr. 25th, 2013 01:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Trident
If we went with the legal burden of proof then given the continuous policy of nuclear deterrence since the 50s the burden of proof would be on those wanting a change.

That said, philosophically speaking both sides should be required to prove their case, with no fudging of reality.

As for cost - plenty of national projects cost a lot, signalling one project out for special treatment and ignoring the others is a bit rich.

From a quick read-through Charlie makes a few mistakes in the evolution of delivery systems and fails to mention the early NATO "Trip-wire" policy (You invade, we nuke). As for his suggestions that UK nuclear weapons are possibly controlled by the US, from a military and an engineering background that is ridiculous: who would pay for a deterrent they could not control, and any deterrent with such controls could be circumvented by any technically-capable nation. Ditto for the suggestion that the RN's new carriers are an annex to the USN's Carrier force: the carriers can't support the USN's aircraft, and are more multi-role - to fit with the varied conflicts and relief operations the RN has been involved with since the end of the cold war.

Lastly, the suggestion that precision-guided weapons are a replacement for nukes is "not even wrong". Nukes deter because of their terrible destructiveness. Precision-guided weapons are a part of conventional warfare, can be countered, and if used to bring a nuclear nation to its knees they would provoke a nuclear attack.

Edited at 2013-04-25 01:25 pm (UTC)
nwhyte
Apr. 25th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Trident
Well, in general with project management the onus is on those who want to start or continue funding expensive projects to justify them.

In the British context, when the government is waging fiscal war on the disabled, to suggest that nukes are uniquely under attack by the bean-counters is a bit rich!

Sure, the RN has indeed been involved with varied conflicts and relief operations since the end of the cold war; which of those required nukes, remind me?
yea_mon
Apr. 26th, 2013 03:26 am (UTC)
Re: Trident
I thought that project management the case is to bring the project to a successful conclusion. Starting projects or deciding whether they should be changed or cancelled is outside the remit of project managers. Pro- and anti- voices each have to make a case, otherwise public debate would be lop-sided and undemocratic.

"to suggest that nukes are uniquely under attack by the bean-counters is a bit rich!"

And where did I say that? I was pointing out that there are a whole lot of expensive projects, nothing more, nothing less.

Related to the British context, money saved by cancelling Trident will not aid the disabled, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer insisted that Trident replacement funds come from the MoD budget.

Additionally, the UK will have to keep up it's investment in nuclear-powered submarines to maintain it's industrial expertise - so it can replace its SSNs when they come to the end of their lives. This will require expenditure to maintain the industrial base, and possibly more SSN production or early replacement of current SSNs.

"Sure, the RN has indeed been involved with varied conflicts and relief operations since the end of the cold war; which of those required nukes, remind me?"

Well, I was making a point about the RN's new class of aircraft carriers. The role of the nuclear deterrent is similar to that of an insurance policy against future major threats to the UK. You could have said:

"which of those have required modern air-defense aircraft and destroyers, aircraft carriers, SSNs and a whole host of other military equipment?"

And the answer would have been "none of them".

However, as shown by the Korean War, the Falklands War, and a whole host of unexpected conflicts, military planning has to consider possible threats, not just probable threats.


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