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 by Sir Lawrence Freedman Introduction: the Trident debate renewed - Andrew Futter Part I - British nuclear strategy: history and culture 1. 70 years of British nuclear debates: a brief history - Daniel Salisbury 2. The UK nuclear deterrent: a system of systems - David Jarvis 3. UK Trident renewal: antecedents and decision-making - Kristan Stoddart 4. The silence of British nuclear culture - Jon Hogg Part II - Trident renewal: the wider context 5. The heterogeneity of UK military views on nuclear weapons - Henrietta Wilson 6. The Trident renewal decision, the UK and the NPT - Shatabhisha Shetty & Lukasz Kulesa 7. The legality and legitimacy of Trident renewal - William Walker 8. Trident and the special relationship - Heather Williams 9. Dangerous and inhumane: the implications for UK nuclear policy of international strategies to apply humanitarian law and prohibit nuclear weapons - Rebecca Johnson 10. Bairns not bombs: the Scottish anti-nuclear movement and the British nuclear state - Catherine Eschle Part III - Next steps, politics and future challenges 11. Sustaining Trident: nuclear absolutism and nuclear symbolism - Nick Ritchie 12. Next steps in the UK's nuclear warhead programme: what future for the Atomic Weapons Establishment? - Peter Burt 13. The future of political opposition to Trident - Toby Fenwick 14. Future challenges for UK nuclear deterrence - Andrew Futter