Why scraping Trident is also the best way to get other states to disarm with a brace of thought experiments:
1) Imagine you and I are in my front room, we each have guns pointed at each others’ heads and we are NOT friends. We both know that if I fire, your mates outside are going to come in and kill my family in front of me before burying me under my own patio, but we also know that if you do that, the police will come down on you like a tonne of brinks and lock you up for life. Neither of us wants that outcome. Problem is, I’m a bit weedy and my big mate Fred is standing behind me looking threatening. We both know Fred is CRAZY and at any minute he could reach across and nick my gun and shoot you, and he would too, because it’s my house and my family and he doesn’t give two hoots if your mates rush in and kill us all and he doesn’t care if you shoot him too because he’s on a mission from God and believes if you do he’ll go to heaven.
Which would you prefer? A) we carry on standing there like that until Fred eventually gets bored and it all kicks off, or B) I remove the rounds from the gun, chuck them out the window where Fred can’t get them and put my gun down?*
2) Now imagine it’s the other way around and you’re the weedy one standing in their own front room trying to protect their family, while I’m the intruder waving a massive gun at your head. You know everything we knew before and Fred is still there and you are still scared of him, but you’ve also heard that last week I barged into your neighbour’s home and, when the man of the house picked up his weapon, I yelled at him to put their gun down. When he did, I accused him of having a grenade in his sock and shot him anyway.
Which is more likely to get you to put your gun down? A) I wave my gun at your head even more threateningly than before and start shoving it in your chest or B) I eject the magazine from my gun, chuck it out the door and lay my gun on the floor between us.
Extra credit: Which out of A and B is more likely to make you take your chances with Fred and actually hand him the gun?
Answers on a postcard please…
* Hint: the correct answer is B.