Magazine article The Spectator

Nuclear Hedge Fund

Magazine article The Spectator

Nuclear Hedge Fund

Article excerpt

From Dr Jeremy Stocker Sir: Andrew Gilligan ('A terrifying plan for nuclear strikes', 29 October) is being unduly alarmist about the future of Britain's small nuclear deterrent. The development of socalled 'usable' nukes does not imply a wish or intention actually to use them, but rather is an essential element of effective deterrence.

If you rely simply on the sheer awfulness of nuclear weapons for their deterrent effect ('existential' deterrence in the jargon), the person you're most likely to deter will be yourself. You won't then deter anybody else, which defeats the whole purpose of a deterrent in the first place.

However remote and awful the prospect, you have to come up with weapons, and strategies for their use, to persuade others that, in extremis, you would push the button. …

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