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Respect for ruling out nuclear option

So, General Sir Nicholas Houghton cannot live with the thought of someone in Downing Street who cannot answer confidently "Yes" to the question: "Would you launch our nuclear weapons?"

Each Trident submarine carries 16 missiles, each with three warheads.

It is reliably estimated that a single warhead, detonated above a city, would instantly kill in excess of 100,000 men, women and children - not to mention the ongoing consequences for the atmosphere.

One would seriously question the state of mind of someone who could confidently answer "Yes" to such a question.

No doubt, the political answer should have been along the lines of "In certain circumstances, which hopefully will not arise during my term of office, reluctantly, I would be prepared to be the last prime minister of the United Kingdom."

We should - at the very least - respect the honesty of someone who is clear about what they would - and would not - do in our name.

JOHN DILLON

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