With the presence of the SNP and now the Corbyn led Labour party within parliament once again the issue of the Trident replacement is becoming front page news. I have always found the discussion very interesting as while I understand the arguments for Trident as a deterrent and granting the UK a permanent security council position I still fail to understand on what circumstances it would be usable. Could we not strap a whole load of explosive to the various reactors around the UK to achieve a similar end of life of earth result at a significant finical saving. An austerity era deterrent!
I think the first point of discussion in the replacement of Trident is surly on what grounds do we see the need for a pre-emptive strike system. While much is made of the strategic benefit of the submarine platform these benefits are generally only useful in the first strike capacity. While Trident probably did offer a significant security benefit within the context of the cold war, it is hard to imagine the use of such weapons even in the much discussed scenario of a rogue state. Would North Korean aggression ever be matched with a nuclear response, I think very unlikely considering the proximity to China, the intrinsic value to the land and the innocence of the general population.
Bizarrely I think the compelling potential usage cases of such weapon system actually comes from the realm of Hollywood, that of Alien invasion and collision course asteroids.