UK Defence Secretary - Nuclear First Strike OK (BBC/Independent)

MichaelFallonNews48

Rob Merrick, "Theresa May would fire UK’s nuclear weapons as a ‘first strike’, says Defence Secretary Michael Fallon", The Independent (24 April 2017)

 

 "In the most extreme circumstances, we've made it very clear that you can't rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike." I suppose some might wish to dismiss this comment by UK Defence Secretary—The (so-called) "Right Honourable" Sir Michael Fallon, KCB (Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath), MP—on BBC Radio 4's Today programme as just so much bluff, but I find it utterly appalling that a British Secretary of Defence should even say such a thing.

  

Now, I'm not a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (and, what's more, I detest nuclear weapons), so perhaps I'm not best placed to comment on this matter, but I always thought the Ministry of Defence was about—or, at least, supposed to be about... er... defence. And isn't a "nuclear deterrent" supposed to deter your (claimed) enemy from lobbing nuclear missiles in your general direction? But, as I say, I'm not a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, so maybe I should just shut up and "know my place".

      

UK Secretary of Defence, The Right Honourable Sir Michael Fallon, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, Member of Parliament: "In the most extreme circumstances, we've made it very clear that you can't rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike."

   

BBC Presenter: "And what circumstances might those be?"

  

UK Secretary of Defence, The Right Honourable Sir Michael Fallon, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, Member of Parliament: "Well, they are better not specified or described, which would only make... give comfort to our enemies and make the deterrent less credible. The whole point about the deterrent is [that] you've got to leave uncertainty in the mind of anybody who might be thinking of using weapons against this country."

   
  
UK Secretary of Defence, The Right Honourable Sir Michael Fallon, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, Member of Parliament on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme
 
 
Image by Government of UK [OGL 3 (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3)], via Wikimedia Commons
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