Home / Robert Farley / The UK Nuclear Deterrent from the US Point of View

The UK Nuclear Deterrent from the US Point of View


Idea: Today, the United States has virtually no interest in the modernization of the British nuclear force. To the extent that the United States has influence over British defense decisions, it should push the UK to spend money on things other than a Trident replacement.


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  • Spending on weapons is free. You should know that by now.

  • Mary Rosh

    They should keep spending their money on the US’ old weapons, not on developing their own weapons

  • ajay

    I’d agree, but it doesn’t seem that the US government thinks that way; Trident is consistently listed (along with intelligence and SF) as one of the bits of the UK military that the US really values. See here:

    With my cynical hat on, I guess that this is because Trident represents a very large amount of money going direct from the UK to the US defence industry. Can’t think of another good reason though.

  • Daragh McDowell

    I tend to agree – I’ve been endlessly boring friends with long-winded rants on the uselessness of Trident for a while now. I was never really clear why the US had any interest in a tiny British augment to its SSBN fleet…

  • Murc

    Influence generally isn’t infinite in scope or in ‘quantity,’ and I would argue that Trident is one of those things we really shouldn’t spend ours on one way or the other. I have no clue how much money Trident shovels into the U.S defense industry, which might deform things in a practical sense, but in an IDEAL sense we’d refrain from frittering away our influence on whether or not Britain retains or discards obsolete cold-war era weapons and spend it on things that are actually important.

  • Jonathan

    Yes. Europe needs a nuclear deterrent that isn’t French.

    • So the undersea collisions between two nukes can go on?

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