July

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British House of Commons votes for Renewal of their Submarines with Ballistic Missiles

On 18 July after five hours of debate,the British House of Commons has decided to renew it’s fleet of Nuclear submarines and equip them with Ballistic Missiles at a total cost of 31 billion pounds (37 billion euros).This Fleet of four Nuclear submarines of the Vanguard Class, HMS Vanguard, HMS Vigilant, HMS Victorious and HMS Vengeance one of which is always at sea, carry the entire nuclear arsenal of Great Britain since the retirement of British airborne nuclear weapons in 1998, it remains the only nuclear power which consists of exclusively sea based nuclear missiles. These submarines are of the American Trident class and were not expected to be renewed until 2040. As the submarines of the Vanguard class which have been in service since the 90’s cannot stay in service for that period time, they are to be replaced with the more modern submarines. The delivery of the first boat is expected to be in 2028.

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A Vanguard-class submarine leaves port. Photo: Paul Kemp/MOD OGL

The debate preceding the vote was therefore on the British nuclear force by itself.  The British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the nuclear threat in regard to Russia and North Korea “has not gone away, if anything it has increased”. She would consider it an “act of gross irresponsibility to lose the ability” to counter these threats “by discarding the ultimate insurance against those threats”.

The Labour Leader Jeremy Corbin who is committed to a pacifist foreign policy, along with a British exit from NATO, stated that “threat of mass murder” is no “legitimate way to go about dealing with international relations” and that Britain’s possession of nuclear weapons had not deterred ISIS in Syria or Iraq or Saddam Hussein.

MPs voted 472 for and 177 against the program accompanied by protests of anti-nuclear activists near the Houses of Parliament. The Conservative Party voted almost unanimously in favor while the majority of Labour MPs, who have been offered a free vote, also voted in favor unlike their party leader, which is interpreted against the backdrop of the ongoing leadership crisis of the party by most media. The Scottish National Party SNP – the 4 SSBNs are stationed in Faslane-on-Clyde in Scotland – voted unanimously against, stating it would give an extra boost to the Scottish independence movement to keep the submarines in their scottish base.

“Das Boot” is to be continued

The Bavaria Studios in Munich are going to continue their successful film “Das Boot” with a drama series developed for pay-tv. From Fall 2017 on they plan to shoot 8 episodes with a budget of 3 million Euro each. The series is to pick  off where the original film left adding multiple new storylines of the allied side and the french resistance. Central issues of Lothar-Günther Bucheim are to be revived, like for example blind fanatism driving extremely young men into futile wars, which is said to be more topical than ever today.dasboot