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Michael Fallon and Ed Miliband are both wrong about Trident

Westminster's pro-nuclear consensus is held together by irrational speculation about future threats. Trident must be decommissioned for the sake of life on our planet. 

Will Prince Charles' "heartfelt interventions" extend to arms sales?

The Prince of Wales and his family have a shameful record of collusion with the British arms industry.

Iraq: why we won't learn the lesson

Anthony Barnett (London, OK): This exchange in which Gordon Brown replies to Bernard Jenkin MP who was Shadow Defence Secretary at the time of the Iraq war shows how deep a problem we have. I saw it thanks to Tim Montgomerie running it in Conservative Home. His point is that Jenkins scored a home run on how British forces have been militarily defeated and are being replaced by the US. But i was struck by the first part of the answer:

The Prime Minister: "I agree very much with the first part of the hon. Gentleman’s remarks—that the removal of Saddam Hussein will be seen in history as a decisive act that made possible a democracy in Iraq...

With two-party collusion on the 'success' of the decision to invade and the Lib-Dems nervously not wanting to be positioned as unpatriotic, the political class (including most of the media who went along with it) will never admit that the unwashed who took to the streets were wiser and more far-sighted than the British elite. Of all the criminal and sleazy corruptions of British politics this was the greatest and it will continue to reverberate. The words of Blair's instruction to our Ambassador should be inscribed over the door of No 10, where they were spoken: "We want you to get up the arse of the White House, and stay there". And here is an Xmas competition: how long will it be before both Conservatives and Labour agree that "history" will see this as a "decisive act" that undermined traditional democracy in this country?

The future of missile defence is now up for discussion

Ben Folley (London, Compass): The future of the US Missile Defence system is now up for discussion following the election of Barack Obama as US President and two weekends in a row where the Czech Social Democrats have won enormous electoral victories over the governing conservatives, just as the Czech Chamber of Deputies prepares to discuss and vote on the installation of a US missile defence radar station.

Obama has previously suggested he is not willing to provide endless funds to a system for which there is little proof of operational success.

Within that context, and the success of the Czech Social Democrats campaigning on an explicit anti-missile defence agenda, the broad statement of over 50 Labour MPs released yesterday, welcoming their sister party's opposition and calling on the government here to allow an open debate on British involvement in the system, is particularly welcome. Their calls are boosted by a new opinion poll showing the British public believe US Missile Defence installations increase threats to national security.

Lords were right to reject judicial activism on BAE

John Jackson (London, Mishcon de Reya ): Doubtless some, perhaps many, will be disappointed by the unanimous decision of five law lords to overturn the judgement delivered, and probably crafted, by Lord Justice Moses in the Serious Fraud Office’s BAE case. And those disappointed will include some who have convinced themselves that the Blair government acted cravenly to protect the commercial interests of BAE - a large employer and taxpayer - or even that this all fitted in with a longer term plan by Blair himself to grease his passage, post-premiership, to a position from which he could enjoy the trappings of international office and advance the interests of his friends in the United States in the maintenance of oil supplies from the Middle East.

Do 'the lessons of our grandfathers' still apply today?

Tom Griffin (London, The Green Ribbon): "The conflicts of today and the conflicts of tomorrow require that we relearn many of the lessons of our fathers and grandfathers somewhat overlooked in the stasis of the cold war," the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt said on Thursday.

In a speech to Labour's Progress group, Dannatt outlines his proposals for permanent cadres of army stabilisation specialists.

These small units would specialise in the training and mentoring of indigenous forces – the type of tasks conducted by our Mentoring and Training Teams in Afghanistan and Iraq. But I see these organisations as being far more. My vision is that they would form the spine of our enduring cultural education and understanding. I can envisage a multi-disciplined and inter-agency organisation that would be capable of both fighting alongside local forces, and delivering reconstruction and development tasks in areas where the civil agencies cannot operate.

Paul Rogers on Brown's Carrier Folly

Jon Bright (London, OK): Overshadowed by the headlines of his announcement about a unified border police and extending detention, Gordon Brown has approved the decision to build two vast aircraft carriers, which according to Richard Norton Taylor in the Guardian have already been given their respective names, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. If delivered on time they will sail out to sea battle-ready and full of Blairite hard power in 2014 and 2016. How will the Kingdom be safe for  seven years without one?

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