Read online at The Independent here.
In a week when the Government announced 5,300 further cuts to the Army, Danny Alexander is to be commended for pointing out to his Tory colleagues that their demands for a new continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent are "not financially realistic".
But the committal of £1.35bn last year towards replacing the Trident system suggests that the military-industrial establishment are creating a fait accompli, despite Nick Clegg reiterating in October that "the final decision on Trident replacement will not be taken until 2016".
Given the Prime Minister's talk of a "generational struggle" against al-Qa'ida in North Africa, any money available for defence ought to be spent on conventional forces.
To oppose replacement of Trident is not to be weak on defence. Stronger UK armed forces depend not on unusable Trident, but on more boots, planes and ships to enable us to counter threats such as those we've witnessed in Mali and Algeria, and thereby maintain Britain's place at the diplomatic "top table".