EPJC Letter to Alex Salmond on NATO & US Bases

On the eve of tomorrow’s historic Scrap Trident march Peace and Justice Centre Coordinator Brian Larkin called on First Minister Alex Salmond to reconsider its position on NATO and US Bases in Scotland.

Dear Alex,

I wanted to thank you for your letter in support of the Scrap Trident weekend of protest and action and for your support for the historic resolution of the Scottish Parliament opposing Trident. We also welcome the SNP passing a resolution at its recent conference in support of a constitutional ban on nuclear weapons should Scotland achieve independence.

We anticipate that the Scrap Trident weekend of protest and action will be a sizeable demonstration of popular demand for disarming Trident and funding human needs.

We read of your remarks in New York that an independent Scotland will host US and non-nuclear NATO bases with interest. That leads us necessarily to point out that the Scrap Trident coalition remains opposed to future involvement with NATO, not only on the grounds that it is a nuclear armed alliance (and NATO member states must sign on to its Strategic Concept which states that the ultimate guarantee of the security of the Alliance lies in the nuclear forces of the US and UK), but in that it is conducting a deplorable war in Afghanistan which has resulted in misery for millions of innocent civilians.

Beyond that you should be aware that the Scrap Trident blockade of Faslane is part of the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending which is calling for deep reductions in military budgets. As you well know the UK is the fourth largest spender on the military, with the US being of course the largest. According to SIPRI global military spending reached a record $1.73 trillion in 2010. Trident Ploughshares, the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre and the Scrap Trident coalition want to see that spending dramatically reduced. As for Scotland we hope that she will lead the way not only to a nuclear free world but to a world which finds security not in vast arsenals of weaponry but in improving the health and welfare of ordinary people through investment in green jobs, education and meeting other essential human needs.

We know that you and the SNP generally share that vision but current SNP Party and government moves to court relations with the US and NATO suggest otherwise and frankly worry us.

We share so much common ground with you and the SNP and do not wish to emphasize our differences. And we do hope to continue with you a fruitful dialogue on Scotland becoming the kind of nation in the world that its people desire.

Best wishes,

for peace and human security

Brian Larkin

Trident Ploughshares

Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre

Scrap Trident Coalition

St John’s Church

Edinburgh EH2 4BJ




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