In which I argue for a new possibility which aims to please both those for and against the replacement of Trident. I suggest Trident is not renewed but that we stage its renewal. This will please those for the renewal of Trident because all of their extremely well reasoned game theory based strategy will be equally served by our enemies incorrectly thinking we have nuclear weapons. The only downside is that while it will make everyone happy, those who are against Trident will not know that they are happy. However, I consider this a small price to pay given the enormous savings that could be made, both in terms of cash money and burning civilians.
When one permits the possibility of the bluff one can instantly see that there are four options:
- Have nuclear weapons but pretend you don’t. The Trojan Horse approach.
- Have nuclear weapons and let people know it. The heavy weight champion brag approach.
- Don’t have nuclear weapons but pretend you do. The poker bluff approach.
- Don’t have nuclear weapons and let people know it. The crazy wild eyed maniac who will definitely lead to us all dying in a nuclear fire approach.
If you believe that the threat of nuclear war is beneficial to long term strategy then you can not possibly distinguish between the effectiveness of options 2 and 3. Given that option 3 is significantly cheaper and also reduces the possibility of nuclear war given that there is one fewer nations that can instigate a nuclear war, it immediately jumps out to me as the optimal strategy. If our bluff is called we can then either choose to be humiliated and fess up or in a further act of bravado go down in a ball of fire claiming to be of such supreme moral fibre that we should sooner sacrifice our lives than threaten the future of humanity. The British people will be permanently extinguished and hopefully fondly remembered by our masters the US and China. They will make films about our amusing character traits and bad teeth set in red phone boxes.
What to do with the money? There will have to appear to be a flow of money to pay for the new system. I suggest the easiest way to fake this part is to actually pay the money but use it for useful apparatus such as equipment for counter-insurgency operations or increased wages and pensions for personnel. Perhaps we could even insist that every serving soldier should have the option of taking classes in physics and be given at least a basic understanding of nuclear physics. This will help them in constructing believable lies for locals and journalists.
Given that a real nuclear deterrent is justifiably protected by many layers of secrecy and security I believe it will be surprisingly easy to sustain the lie. Everyone who currently withholds information regarding locations of submarines and access codes will merely have to move over to the new system of withholding the fact of the complete absence of nuclear weapons. At the most we will need some small submarines which look very big by their outward appearance but under the water are just papier mâché models being paddled by the Navy’s strongest swimmers.
This will also remove the difficult decision making from the politicians and generals who often have poor cognitive power and lack any understanding of thermonuclear warheads.
If you have any questions regarding my proposals please re-read Sun Tzu where a lot of frequently asked questions have already been answered.