Posted by: mulrickillion | October 30, 2011

Defence Security Report – UK deflects fears over nuclear deterrence policy

By Matthew Bell, Jane’s Defence News, 10/21/2011 —

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has deflected concerns that its new defence secretary may be less committed to renewal of the country’s nuclear deterrent than his predecessor.

Philip Hammond, who succeeded Liam Fox on 14 October, was absent during three House of Commons votes held since 2007 on renewing the submarine-based Trident nuclear deterrent, sparking fears over his degree of support for the system following his appointment.

However, an MoD source told Jane’s on 19 October that his absence – during two votes in March 2007 and one in June 2010 – resulted from scheduling commitments rather than ideological concerns.

According to the source, Hammond’s previous correspondence with constituents reflected support for a nuclear deterrent. "The acquisition of nuclear weapons by North Korea and the attempts by Iran are real threats to Britain’s security, and we do not have the right to gamble with the security of future generations," said Hammond. "I believe, therefore, it is imperative that we maintain, update and replace our independent nuclear deterrent. . . .

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