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Jeremy Greenstock questions Trident decision

leftFormer British Ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, has questioned the decision to renew Trident and the message that it sends to other countries. 

The former British Ambassador to the United Nations Sir Jeremy Greenstock presented Britain's case at the Security Council in the preparations for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  How he has spoken out about nuclear weapons in an article on British foreign policy in the New Statesman.

He said "Time is ticking away as the non-proliferation regime gradually erodes. The trend towards disaster will accelerate if Iran and North Korea are not contained and if the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 2010 hits the same rocks as the 2005 conference.  The five nuclear powers under the treaty (China, France, the Russian Federation, the UK and the US) have to be prepared to make compromises in a credible global effort to stem nuclear proliferation.  There is little sign of that at the moment.

"The UK will be one of the first societies to be hit if things go wrong.  A connnected issue, because Article 6 of the NPT places requirements on the nuclear states to move towards eradication of nuclear weapons, is the future of the UK national deterrent.  Have we fully thought through both the resource and the proliferation implications of renewing Trident ?  Our armed forces are too stretched, even now, to meet the government's oversease objectives; and the incentives for a greater number of states and non-state actors to acquire nuclear weapons are strengthening.  Trident meets other concerns, important ones, but takes us down the wrong path in these two areas.  The public debate we should expect on such a crucial issue has not happened."

Sir Jeremy is not alone in highlighting the implications of British policy.  The former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, the Director of the IAEA, Mohamad El Baradei, and former UN chief inspector Hans Blix have all pointed out that renewing Trident sets a bad example for other countries.

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