Trident vote: recently published letter by former US defence officials and senior military officers.

In the interests of preservation – as websites crash and lose such data (especially in the chemical/pharmaceutical world) such material can live on in minor sites, the letter and signatories stored on Dr Lowry’s site are posted here:

NUCLEAR POWERS The Times, letters, 15 July 2016 (not useful)

Sir, As parliament votes on the UK’s future nuclear submarine programme, we want to state strongly that the US believes the UK should maintain an independent nuclear deterrent.

At present Russia is investing heavily to expand its nuclear forces, has an aggressive nuclear doctrine and is rattling its nuclear sabre. As long as such weapons exist, the only way to deter their use is to have a credible nuclear deterrent.

In this regard, an independent British deterrent guarantees more than just Britain’s security. Precisely because it is operationally independent, the British deterrent confronts any potential adversaries with a second centre of nuclear decision-making, thereby ensuring they cannot possibly believe they could avoid retaliation in times of crisis.

Our own experience for over 50 years makes clear that ballistic missile submarines remain the cornerstone of a nuclear deterrent. Just as we support US strategic force modernisation, so too do we endorse continued UK investment in deterrence.

The combined deterrent forces of the US and UK make the horrific possibility of nuclear conflict considerably less likely. This is why every US Administration since 1958 has valued the UK’s independent deterrent, and we urge the UK to continue its vital contribution to transatlantic security.

Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary, US Department of State; Richard Danzig, former secretary of the Navy; Brent Scowcroft, assistant for national security affairs to Gerald Ford and George HW Bush; Walter Slocombe, former under secretary of defense for policy; General Larry Welch, former chief of staff USAF, and former commander-in-chief, Strategic Air Command;Linton Brooks, former administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration; Admiral Henry Chiles, US Navy, former commander, US Strategic Command; General Kevin Chilton USAF, former commander, US Strategic Command; Admiral Kirk Donald US Navy, former director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion; Eric Edelman, former under secretary of defense for policy; Admiral James Ellis US Navy, former commander, US Strategic Command; Dr John R Harvey, former principal deputy assistant secretary, US Department of Defense; Ambassador Robert Joseph, former under secretary for international security affairs, US Department of State; General C Robert Kehler USAF, former commander, US Strategic Command; Franklin Kramer, former assistant secretary of defense; Admiral Richard Mies US Navy, former commander, US Strategic Command; Franklin Miller, former special assistant to the president of the United States; James Miller, former under secretary of defense for policy; Dr Keith Payne, former deputy assistant secretary, US Department of Defense; Dr Bradley Roberts, former deputy assistant secretary, US Department of Defense; Dr Kori Schake, former deputy director, policy planning, US Department of State; David Shedd, former acting director, US Defense Intelligence Agency