ROB Forsyth is, of course, entirely correct in denouncing our nuclear WMD, and pointing out the colossal dangers they threaten to our survival (“Trident is indefensible. We must scrap it now to save us from nuclear annihilation”, Sunday Herald, June 24).

However, I am surprised that he is surprised to discover that Trident “is no longer a weapon of last resort, to be used in extreme circumstance such as defence of the homeland”.

It has been that way for a long time.

Speaking at King’s College London in November 1992, Malcolm Rifkind, then Minister of Defence, said that Trident could fire a single warhead “to deliver an unmistakable message of Britain's willingness to defend her vital interests”.

This means that contrary to popular imagination, far from being a weapon of last resort, Britain is prepared to use Trident, to use it first, and to use it against a non-nuclear third-world client state that steps out of line. So much for our much vaunted “deterrent”.

This, the so-called “Rifkind Doctrine” of sub-strategic or tactical Trident, promulgated 26 years ago, has never been revoked.

The problem is why has it taken Rob Forsyth so long to see the truth and – this above all – why do his colleagues continue to ignore this same warning he gives now that peace campaigners have been saying for decades?

Brian Quail

via email