The Aug. 25 front-page article on Scottish independence and the United Kingdom’s Trident nuclear program provided an excellent background, but it did not cover the crucial fact that Britain has options for the nuclear weapons program after a “yes” vote [“Britain’s nuclear program at stake in Scottish vote”]. While experts note that the weapons can be moved at a relatively affordable cost, the British Defense Ministry has vaguely implied that relocating the Trident program would be outrageously difficult and costly. That is playing politics with nuclear weapons.
The ministry is not alone. Scottish Parliament member Jackie Baillie claimed that up to 11,000 jobs rely on the Trident program, implying that Scottish independence would leave these workers unemployed and the local economy ruined. However, data released following a freedom of information request revealed that only 520 jobs relate directly to Trident .
Ultimately, Scottish residents, not citizens of the United States, will decide Scotland’s future. Nonetheless, Americans deserve an informed and balanced discussion, and so do the people of Scotland.
James McKeon, Washington