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Synopsis

Barack Obama and the UK Labour and Coalition governments have all backed the renewed momentum for serious progress towards a world free of nuclear weapons. At the same time, the UK finds itself embarked on a controversial and expensive programme to renew its Trident nuclear weapons system. Why is the UK still committed to nuclear weapons, what are the prospects for a change in UK policy, and what does the UK process tell about the prospects for nuclear disarmament? Nick Ritchie answers these questions and more by exploring the 'enablers' of the Trident replacement process, in particular a commitment to nuclear deterrence, the role of national identity, the 'special relationship' with the US, and the submarine-building industry. He also analyses the key 'resistances', including the logic of nuclear disarmament, cost, public opinion, and alternative nuclear weapons policies.

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