RATHER than an independent Scotland being geopolitically blessed (Letters, September 4), Councillor Tom Johnston believes that without Nato membership Scotland would be geopolitically cursed (Letters, September 6).
Councillor Johnston seems to believe that we should join a Nato "front line" to challenge not only Russia but a resurgent China too. This despite the fact that the Scottish Government in general and the First Minister in particular sees China's resurgence as an important commercial opportunity for Scotland.
If Councillor Johnston's view of Scotland's place in the world is not shared by the rest of the pro-Nato camp in the party then they should tell us now.
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It would seem, however, that they are content to hide behind a motion big on declaratory statements, thin in analytical content (remember the motion's 720 words is, as far as we can ascertain, the sum published total of the so-called defence review) and underpinned by dubious polling. Maybe also they could explain the rationale behind their view that Scotland in Nato could add to the voices within that organisation who wish to rid Europe of tactical nuclear weapons. It was always a weak argument, but with the news that Germany has thrown in the towel and now accepts the presence of new upgraded tactical nuclear weapons on their soil it is no argument at all and only reinforces the arguments of those of us who wish to retain current party policy on Nato membership.
84 Albert Avenue, Glasgow.
THE SNP is obsessed by nuclear weapons of the inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) Faslane/Coulport variety.
There are numerous other types in the UK inventory. A visit to Wikipedia discovers a list which includes tactical nuclear weapons, nuclear depth charges, nuclear land mines, nuclear ship-to-ship missiles and nuclear Cruise missiles. I do not know the details of the current UK inventory, and I do not expect the Ministry of Defence to tell me.
With regard to surface vessels (warships and auxiliaries) currently on the strength of the Royal Navy, Daring-class destroyers and Bay-class auxiliaries (among others) have the potential to use and to transport nuclear weapons not of the ICBM type. These vessels have been built and fitted out on the Clyde (RFA Lyme Bay had its hull built on Tyneside but was finished on the Clyde).
If Scotland becomes a nuclear weapon-free area, it would be absurd and hypocritical to build, or to tender to build, successor vessels to Daring-class and Bay-class. Would such vessels be built and fitted out in Scotland, then sail out of Scottish waters forbidden ever to return lest there are nuclear weapons on board?
20 South Erskine Park, Bearsden.