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Nuclear Free Scotland February 2005

A FORCE FOR PEACE OR A LAUNCH PAD FOR WAR?

With over 70 active military bases, Scotland now plays a key role as a monitoring station, testing ground, supply base, training ground and launch-pad for overseas wars. Geoff Hoon's recent defence reforms show that Scotland's military bases are becoming increasingly integrated into America's war machine. Its geographical position, low population density and distance from London along with its growing MoD estate has given it an enhanced importance as a military training ground and launching point for war.

Today Scotland plays host to all of Britain's nuclear weapons. Faslane on Gare Loch, is the sprawling base for the Trident strategic nuclear submarine fleet, five conventionally armed nuclear submarines and a number of surface warships. Cape Wrath in the north-west is the only ship-to-shore bombardment range in Europe and perhaps the most important naval training area in the northern hemisphere. It is also the only place in Europe where aircraft can drop live 1,000lb bombs. The naval range is regularly used by warships from the United States prior to combat operations as well as the warships of many other European navies.

At West Freugh in Luce Bay, Galloway, is another bombing range, this time for British Tornado aircraft testing cluster bombs. A few miles further west at Dundrennan is the only open air testing range for depleted uranium shells in the UK. In February 2003, just before departing for the invasion of Iraq, Challenger II tanks fired almost 200 DU shells into the Solway. Dundrennan is also the site for testing the electro-magnetic 'supergun' on behalf of the US military. The 'supergun', which can launch a shell at 7,500 mph and can destroy a tank 5 miles away, is intended to be the main weapon on the next generation of US tanks and light armoured vehicles.

Lossiemouth in the north east of Scotland is Britain's biggest base for Tornado strike aircraft. A vast area of the north west highlands comprises the largest and most frequently used low flying area in Britain. Glen Douglas in Loch Long and Beith in Ayrshire are huge weapons stores hosting all kinds of bombs, ammunition and explosives. In January 2003 two British aircraft carriers docked at nearby Glen Mallan to load munitions from Glen Douglas before heading for the Gulf.

The sheer extent of Scotland's role as one huge military base is largely unknown to the Scottish people. Two years ago the streets of Glasgow were filled with the biggest anti-war demonstration in living memory. Ample evidence, if evidence were needed, that the people of Scotland do care about what is done in their name and are implacably opposed to British involvement in US wars of aggression.

That's why the time is right for a new initiative to publicise the extent of Scotland's involvement in planning and delivering such military intervention. Scotland's for Peace is a broadly based campaign intended to project Scotland as a force for peace With over 70 active military bases, Scotland now plays a key role as a monitoring station, testing ground, supply base, training ground and launch-pad for overseas wars. Geoff Hoon's recent defence reforms show that Scotland's military bases are becoming increasingly integrated into America's war machine. Its geographical position, low population density and distance from London along with its growing MoD estate has given it an enhanced importance as a military training ground and launching point for war.

Today Scotland plays host to all of Britain's nuclear weapons. Faslane on Gare Loch, is the sprawling base for the Trident strategic nuclear submarine fleet, five conventionally armed nuclear submarines and a number of surface warships. Cape Wrath in the north-west is the only ship-to-shore bombardment range in Europe and perhaps the most important naval training area in the northern hemisphere. It is also the only place in Europe where aircraft can drop live 1,000lb bombs. The naval range is regularly used by warships from the United States prior to combat operations as well as the warships of many other European navies.

At West Freugh in Luce Bay, Galloway, is another bombing range, this time for British Tornado aircraft testing cluster bombs. A few miles further west at Dundrennan is the only open air testing range for depleted uranium shells in the UK. In February 2003, just before departing for the invasion of Iraq, Challenger II tanks fired almost 200 DU shells into the Solway. Dundrennan is also the site for testing the electro-magnetic 'supergun' on behalf of the US military. The 'supergun', which can launch a shell at 7,500 mph and can destroy a tank 5 miles away, is intended to be the main weapon on the next generation of US tanks and light armoured vehicles.

Lossiemouth in the north east of Scotland is Britain's biggest base for Tornado strike aircraft. A vast area of the north west highlands comprises the largest and most frequently used low flying area in Britain. Glen Douglas in Loch Long and Beith in Ayrshire are huge weapons stores hosting all kinds of bombs, ammunition and explosives. In January 2003 two British aircraft carriers docked at nearby Glen Mallan to load munitions from Glen Douglas before heading for the Gulf.

The sheer extent of Scotland's role as one huge military base is largely unknown to the Scottish people. Two years ago the streets of Glasgow were filled with the biggest anti-war demonstration in living memory. Ample evidence, if evidence were needed, that the people of Scotland do care about what is done in their name and are implacably opposed to British involvement in US wars of aggression.

That's why the time is right for a new initiative to publicise the extent of Scotland's involvement in planning and delivering such military intervention. Scotland's for Peace is a broadly based campaign intended to project Scotland as a force for peace With over 70 active military bases, Scotland now plays a key role as a monitoring station, testing ground, supply base, training ground and launch-pad for overseas wars. Geoff Hoon's recent defence reforms show that Scotland's military bases are becoming increasingly integrated into America's war machine. Its geographical position, low population density and distance from London along with its growing MoD estate has given it an enhanced importance as a military training ground and launching point for war.

Today Scotland plays host to all of Britain's nuclear weapons. Faslane on Gare Loch, is the sprawling base for the Trident strategic nuclear submarine fleet, five conventionally armed nuclear submarines and a number of surface warships. Cape Wrath in the north-west is the only ship-to-shore bombardment range in Europe and perhaps the most important naval training area in the northern hemisphere. It is also the only place in Europe where aircraft can drop live 1,000lb bombs. The naval range is regularly used by warships from the United States prior to combat operations as well as the warships of many other European navies.

At West Freugh in Luce Bay, Galloway, is another bombing range, this time for British Tornado aircraft testing cluster bombs. A few miles further west at Dundrennan is the only open air testing range for depleted uranium shells in the UK. In February 2003, just before departing for the invasion of Iraq, Challenger II tanks fired almost 200 DU shells into the Solway. Dundrennan is also the site for testing the electro-magnetic 'supergun' on behalf of the US military. The 'supergun', which can launch a shell at 7,500 mph and can destroy a tank 5 miles away, is intended to be the main weapon on the next generation of US tanks and light armoured vehicles.

Lossiemouth in the north east of Scotland is Britain's biggest base for Tornado strike aircraft. A vast area of the north west highlands comprises the largest and most frequently used low flying area in Britain. Glen Douglas in Loch Long and Beith in Ayrshire are huge weapons stores hosting all kinds of bombs, ammunition and explosives. In January 2003 two British aircraft carriers docked at nearby Glen Mallan to load munitions from Glen Douglas before heading for the Gulf.

The sheer extent of Scotland's role as one huge military base is largely unknown to the Scottish people. Two years ago the streets of Glasgow were filled with the biggest anti-war demonstration in living memory. Ample evidence, if evidence were needed, that the people of Scotland do care about what is done in their name and are implacably opposed to British involvement in US wars of aggression.

That's why the time is right for a new initiative to publicise the extent of Scotland's involvement in planning and delivering such military intervention. Scotland's for Peace is a broadly based campaign intended to project Scotland as a force for peace rather than a launch-pad for war. We aim to win support for the campaign among the majority of Scots including councillors, MPs and MSPs. At the core of the campaign is a declaration for individuals and organisations to sign.

The campaign is working to achieve 4 main objectives:
a majority of Scottish MPs, MSPs, councillors to speak publicly against the replacement of Trident
the Scottish Executive to establish a Scottish Centre for Peace and Justice
establishing an annual Scottish Peace Dayl
the Scottish Executive to establish an effective Defence Diversification Agency to plan the replacement of defence jobs.

For more information on Scotland's military bases see:
Fortress Scotland 2004, Scottisn CND publication £2, 15 Barrland Street, G41 1QH

 

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