The UK Trident nuclear missile programme staggers-on regardless – sucking the life out of Britain’s military might?

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A post here “TRIDENT REPLACEMENT – its got to be a joke, but it isn’t funny?” November 22, 2015 by dadman007, set out the folly of going ahead with a new Trident system that would not only bankrupt the Country, but would prevent us in future having a proper Army, Airforce or Navy.

Well, the chickens are already coming home to roost regarding the disastrous debilitating decision, taken two years ago by a large majority by our MPs, to go ahead with this Trident replacement programme, don’t you think? They decided willy-nilly to proceed with building a new fleet of nuclear delivery submarines (Dreadnought class), to be operational by 2028, with the current fleet completely phased out by 2032.

Well at the start of this year, the National Audit Office has assessed and decreed that the MOD’s department’s equipment plan for the decade until 2027 is basically not affordable, and recently the Public Accounts Committee have said that there isn’t enough money to buy all the equipment the military says it needs and Defence is facing a possible affordability gap of nearly £21billion. [So, if the MOD were like a citizen applying for a mortgage, it would fail to get it due to the current “affordability” criteria, wouldn’t it?].

The official reports make dire reading at a time when the Country is facing increased risks both financially [BREXIT?] and militarily through Russia’s determination to take central stage and threaten world peace [including in Syria?], ISIS terrorism at large, North Korean posturing, Middle East repetitive upheavals, and Iran increasingly threatening meddling, as well as no likely abatement of the refugee European crisis – all threats that requires ‘increased’ defence spending, surely?

It is a worry that the MOD always seems to view matters through rose-coloured spectacles and makes glaring mistakes to the extent that one can’t help but wonder if a deliberate attempt is being made to hoodwink parliament & public, and hide worrying deficiencies in its financial management as well, eh?

The damning conclusion is that, in an environment where the MoD department is already trying to manage a significant projected overspend, the current financial plan is unrealistic, faces undeclared risks, failed to include obvious costs, relied on making substantial but unclear savings, was challenged by the destabilizing effect of large complex nuclear-related projects [for example, in service and planned submarine projects costs had risen by £941m in one year], as well as factored-in wrong exchange rates and masking currency fluctuations impacts.

What does all that mean for out armed forces then? Well, most certainly result in that either they won’t be able to do their job, or they won’t be effective, or people will die unnecessarily.

We already have a ridiculous defence situation whereby we haven’t yet ended the ‘carrier with no planes’ conundrum, as now Britain still has zero ‘plane-armed’ aircraft carriers, haven’t we? Yes, we only have the one, commissioned last year, new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth now on the high seas, but without its complement of F-35 aircraft [trials perhaps this year and first deployment in some 3 years and only a ‘very-modest’ number of the planned 40 will be operational even by 2020], or Chinook helicopters, Apache AH MK1 gunships, AW101 Merlin transport helicopters, AW159 Wildcat anti-surface warfare helicopters – well done Westminster Parliament, not? [HMS Prince of Wales, Britain’s second new-class aircraft carrier is currently ‘under construction’ still].

Things can only get worse as the eye-watering cost of Trident replacement kicks-in, and that WILL BE before even the inevitable time delays and project cost overruns become self-evident – take for example the historic situation that seriously jeopardised our defences twelve years ago, when MoD projects had overspent by some £3billion and were a total of 36 years late [including Eurofighter (Typhoon), Type 45 destroyers, Astute attack submarines, and Nimrod aircraft]. At the same time, there was a growing crisis in the British military [it had shed nearly 1,200 personnel in three months and the armed forces were 6,330 under strength – a toll placing burden on our dedicated servicemen and women, eh?].

Britain’s madness and current obsession with a nuclear deterrent future using the Trident replacement weapon of mass destruction, that will cost unaffordable countless billions (over 200?), but will not keep our Country safe, has long since past the point of being no longer value for money, hasn’t it? It not only won’t deal with the actual threats and scale of violence facing the UK now, or in the future, but it will leave our conventional forces dreadfully under-resourced, won’t it?

You see, back in the 60s the need was to defend ourselves from foreign aggression (like Russia’s), so being a nuclear power was deemed a significant deterrent – now it is completely useless, as former senior armed forces heads have warned. [In those early days a nuclear bomb could wipe-out a city, but now the most powerful missiles can wipe out a country if not a continent – so basically, they CAN’T BE USED in anger, so are no deterrent whatsoever, are they?].

[Two years ago, the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review said that there is ‘no direct threat to the UK or its vital interests from states developing weapons of mass destruction’ – the Government unbelievably ignored that to proceed with Trident 2. WHY? To maintain status as a world power when the empire is long gone and we are an ‘irrelevant’ member of the EU (still)?].

Moreover, the Report to MPs last December detailing the progress of the new Trident2 Dreadnought submarine programme [built with FRENCH steel, indeed] persists at the outset with the (redundant?) theme:

“The United Kingdom’s (UK) nuclear deterrent deters against the most extreme threats to our way of life, both now and in the future. It provides the ultimate guarantee of our national security and is a major part of this Government’s commitment to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. “

LoL -that unbelievably ignores the glaring fact that the major risks that we actually face nowadays, and in the foreseeable future, comes not only from climate change, and international terrorism, but even more significantly from militarized ‘cyber-attacks’, yet we are burying our heads in the sand and failing to invest the massive budgets needed to tackle such grave risks., aren’t we?

The Achilles heel of our modern society and its infrastructure, is the demonstrable total utter dependency on computer systems, which are automated to monitor and control almost everything in the land from the electricity grid, gas supplies, water & sewage, defence facilities, government, banking, stock exchange, NHS, emergency services, doctors’ surgeries, railways & undergrounds, nuclear plants, travel, industrial facilities, phone systems, communications, critical businesses, hazardous substances stores, food distribution, to much more.

Even us ordinary people and workers rely so much these days on computers, mobiles, sat-navs and GPS facilities for everyday life, but make no mistake about it will you, the military are even more fully computer dependent with its satellite and intelligence systems, so it could feasibly be fatally compromised by focused cyber-attacks, couldn’t it?

At the start of the decade, Britain placed cybersecurity as a tier one threat against the UK (on a par with global terrorism), yet five years ago MPs heard that the UK armed forces could still be ‘fatally compromised’ by cyber attack, and that hasn’t changed now dramatically, has it? Yet the same bloody MPs have voted to give priority for defence spending to be hijacked by ‘irrelevant’ Trident, haven’t they?

Cybercrime is already costing the Country billions of pounds and there are some 60 such high-level attacks on the UK every month, which the population don’t even hear of, do we?

What though we became well aware of was the attacks on the NHS included one last year that demobilized some 45 hospitals and organisations, eh?]. We also have seen this month the financial mayhem and meltdown that was caused by the TSB computer malfunction which wasn’t even down to a cyber-attack, was it?

Last year, around 45% of businesses have suffered a digital attack – like say Debenhams [26,000 customers’ data exposed], Wonga a payday loans company [250,000 customer records seized (bank account details, sort codes, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses)], Three mobile [200,000 customers’ data compromised], Barts Health Trust’s Trojan malware virus attack caused major disruption at five hospitals, a third of NHS Trusts infected by ransomware [for example Imperial College Healthcare –19 attacks in 12 months, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust cancelling nearly 3,000 appointments], Lloyds Bank (Britain’s largest mortgage lender) – days of a denial of service hack, tried to block access to 20 million accounts, HSBC, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have all experienced similar cyber-attacks, Tesco Bank forced to suspend online and contactless transactions [cost £2.5m reimbursement to over 9,000 customers], etcetera, etcetera, etcetera .

 

[Furthermore, in relation to threats to national security, just remember won’t you that Ukraine was blacked-out with sabotaging cyber-attacks (by Russia?) on its industrial electricity supplies in both 2015 and 2016 [affecting say a million people], eh?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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