Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently floated the possibility of a “third way” for Britian’s nuclear weapons policy: instead of either complete nuclear disarmament or replacing Trident with a like-for-like system, he has suggested building replacement submarines that “don’t have to have nuclear warheads on them”. He has been ridiculed in the press – but the idea deserves serious thought.
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The practice of nuclear deterrence in the UK has long been associated with having one or more nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines at sea at all times, invulnerable to attack and ready to fire tens of thermonuclear warheads at short notice, each capable of inflicting massive and indiscriminate nuclear devastation.
But this isn’t the only way to think about nuclear deterrence, or the only way the…
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