Driving Around with Nuclear Missiles

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Thursday is my all-day in the fishtank day, where all the little fishies come to use the computers. As part of my fishtank ritual, I read the International Herald Tribune and the Financial Times; both because its the only reading material around and because Im looking for stories that deserve more attention. And today it was an article on the British Submarine fleet.

Some people may not find it a big deal, but I’m kind of baffled by the fact that the United Kingdom has a fleet of submarines in service that are still armed with long range nuclear missles carrying multiple warheads.
I repeat and I’ll quote the article:

Nevermind. I can’t quote it now, some dude is eating his lunch over it.

Anyway according to the Naval Defence Industries, the Vanguard class submarines current in service, carry a maximum of 48 nuclear warheads!

Now I ask you, British military, and people around the world. Why? What for? Why is it that certain countries still feel the need to pretend nuclear war could happen at any minute and that without the capability to launch a zillion nuclear missiles, their nation will never survive?

In this case I’m focusing solely on the UK. I’m sure the US and Russia also enjoy sending out their submarines loaded with nuclear missiles to launch at imaginary enemies.

According to the description in the FT, who I believe was quoting the Royal Navy, these nuclear missiles are to be used against “rogue nations.” Nice and specific eh?

The scariest part is that members of the Navy have to work with these useless, accident-waiting-to-happen weapons. I’m sure they’re very efficient and knowledgable with how to manage missiles with multiple world-destroying war heads. But even the slightest possiblilty of any type of nuclear accident is unacceptable.

The real reason they still exist? Beyond any military-strategic reasons, it’s because two major corporations profit from building and servicing the missiles: BAE and LockheedMartin. Who should both be taken to task by the public and by governments for encouraging and profiting from this out-dated and dangerous business arangement.

Bonus:
In honor of my occasional participation in videobloggingweek2006, I present a video montage of my thoughts the other day.