Ukraine justifies massive nukes and Western ‘way of war’ spending increase, military claims

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Ukraine highlights the need for nuclear weapons and affirms the ‘western way of war’, a new report claims. This report comes as the Tories announced a £6bn hike in nuclear warhead spending over the next six years.

But, critics are not having it. Anti-war leaders said the decision was counter to peace and social justice, and would not deliver security or stability in any meaningful sense.

This announcement of the report was made by defence secretary Ben Wallace, who is due to retire. But a brief look at the rogue’s gallery of Tories touted to replace him bodes poorly for real peace and stability.

Contested world

A new command paper outlines the UK view on war and nuclear weapons. Titled “Defence’s response to a more contested and volatile world”, the paper claims:

The war in Ukraine highlights the importance of the credibility of our capabilities, both conventional and nuclear, on the earth or in space or cyberspace, to deter threats against us. It affirms the modern western way of warfare…

However, it also indicated that the Tories would spend an extra £6bn over six years on the UK’s so-called nuclear deterrent. Outlining the command paper in parliament on 18 July, Wallace said Ukraine had taught new lessons to the West:

As Defence Secretary it is important to import the lessons learned from the conflict to our own forces. While I wish such lessons were generated in a different way, the conflict has become an incubator of new ways of war.

Read on...

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Crumbling services

However, critics of UK militarism were having none of it. They expressed shock that once again the magic money tree had turned up billions for war, while the country is crumbling. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s (CND’s) Kate Hudson pointed to collapsing services here at home. She said the new hike would deny:

crumbling public services vital funds while spending billions of pounds on maintaining and investing in these weapons of mass destruction.

She added:

A week ago, the Prime Minister was announcing a below-inflation pay rise for public-sector workers, insisting it was their best and final offer.

Now, the Defence Secretary is finding billions of pounds of new money for nuclear weapons seemingly without any pushback.

Hospitals not nuclear weapons

Stop the War Coalition’s Lindsey German said it was typical of the current Tory regime to deny wages while splashing vast amounts on war. She added that the increase “does nothing to make the world a safer space”.

German called for real security for the population:

If we want security it should start with a decent housing, health and education spending – not weapons of mass destruction.

Wallace has also announced he will retire ahead of the next cabinet reshuffle. Favourites to replace him include foreign secretary James Cleverly, security minister Tom Tugendhat, and Commons leader Penny Mordaunt.

What unites them is that they have all, like Wallace, spent time in military uniform: Tugendhat and Cleverly as army officers and Mordaunt with a brief stint as a naval reservist.

This increasing militarisation of democracy should concern us all. It’s true, ex-military MPs might have insights into service life. But the lesson of the recent batch of veterans-turned-politicians is that if you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

And in a contested, nuclear weapon-filled world, that mindset carries its own dangers.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/bodgerbrooks, cropped to 1910 x 1000, licenced under CC BY 2.0.

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  • Show Comments
        1. Nice to see a bit of Latin this early in the morning, not really a case of Romans go home.
          Would Russia have invaded if Ukraine possessed nukes? That’s a question we will never know the answer to. What we do know is that Russia DID invade Ukraine and is currently waging all out war against it’s neighbour and allegedly brothers.
          We must do everything we can to support Ukraine in regaining all of its territory, including The Crimea. This means as much money and military support as we are able to give for as long as it takes. I have supported Ukraine financially and continue to support an individual displaced by war. Once Russia is thrown out of Ukraine, I will be visiting the country to celebrate their victory.

          1. Indeed. It’s vital that as many Ukrainian men as possible die on the battlefield in this long-predicted proxy war between the US/NATO and Putin’s capitalist Russia. Let’s send lots of ammunition with depleted Uranium to poison both Ukrainian and Russian soldiers… and plenty of civilians, too. Let’s also, it seems, copy Russia by sending internationally-outlawed cluster bombs for children to pick up and get maimed or killed for many years to come. Bear in mind, of course, that 123 countries have signed up to the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions – but not Russia, Ukraine or the USA (or Israel).

            If you do visit Ukraine in a few years after it is divided, be sure to avoid where those bombs ended up. I’m sure the US, Russian and Ukrainian governments will provide you with accurate, up-to-date maps.

            1. Firstly, it isn’t a proxy war a war. According to the Cambridge dictionary a proxy war is fought between groups or smaller countries that each represent the interests of other larger powers, and may have help and support from these. Ergo-it isn’t a proxy war, unless you think Russia is a proxy of China? Not an unreasonable idea.
              The TINA maxim applies here as far as Ukraine is concerned. Russia has invaded their country and had the Ukrainians not fought back, with growing help from the West, Russian troops would now be on the Polish border. What next, Moldavia?
              I too have concerns about cluster bombs, however when one is invaded and your invader vows to exterminate you, are all methods of defence acceptable? I break into your house/flat one night, threaten you with death, would it be reasonable for you to fight back with all means at your disposal, legal or otherwise?

          2. @Boismalet : “We must do everything we can to support Ukraine in regaining all of its territory, including The Crimea. ”

            Are you including the four regions that democratically chose to leave Ukraine for the Russian Federation ? Crimea has also voted leave, and probably will in due course ?

            Are you saying that these regions should be made to return to Ukraine against their will ? Good luck with that…

            Let’s not forget that the reason these regions chose to leave is because between the 2014 American-backed coup and Russian intervention, 14,000+ of their citizens were killed by Ukraine’s armed forces . Are you suprised they wanted out ? They were asking for Russian intervention long before it actually happened.

            This whole debacle rests at the door of America / NATO and their inability to leave well alone. Next stop Taiwan…

    1. Why would someone write to a leftist news site to defend the use of cluster bombs and depleted Uranium ammunition? By Boismalet’s reasoning, the US/NATO forces are entirely justified in launching a slew of nuclear missiles at Russia any time they feel like it. After all, isn’t that “fighting back with all means at your disposal, legal or otherwise”?

      There are excellent reasons that nuclear weapons and cluster munitions are internationally outlawed. Those laws apply to the governments Boismalet regards as good just as much as to those he or she hates.

      As for TINA, that’s absurd. There was every avenue to avoid this war beginning; there is every means to end it in a few days. But, as it’s a proxy war between the US and Russia, the aim is to destroy Russia and if the price is a devasted Ukraine, well, that’s a very long way from Alabama and most American voters couldn’t even place Russia on a map, let alone Kyiv.

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