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The case for maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent was explored this week at a high-level seminar in the Houses of Parliament organised by the Centre for Opposition Studies at the University of Bolton. The event, titled ‘Credible Threat – Does Nuclear Deterrence Work?’ was addressed by the Chairman of the House of Commons’ Defence Select Committee, Dr Julian Lewis, MP.
He presented a paper outlining the history over the debate around nuclear weapons in the UK and argued that advocates of retention are to keep pressing their case to government. This was followed by a contribution from Dr Andrew Corbett, a former Royal Navy Trident submarine commander who is now a teaching fellow at the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London. Dr Corbett explained that the concept of deterrence had become more complex as the international context changed, following the end of the Cold War. He also discussed how nuclear weapons fit into the wider defence debate. Chaired by John Hayes CBE, MP, the seminar was the latest in a series organised by the Centre for Opposition Studies on defence issues.
The Centre’s Director, Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, commented: “National security and defence policy are closely linked to concepts of opposition. Countries are constantly making judgements about the intentions and capabilities of potentially hostile opponents. The concept of nuclear deterrence is the most striking demonstration of this, and we were delighted to have such distinguished and insightful speakers to address this crucial debate.”