While I would never encourage assassination, we must have a cyber defence capability capable of preventing such actions against our own leaders.
There are other technologies which are also of growing importance.
Swarms of micro-drones are one – objects as as small as insects, but able to penetrate and destroy enemy installations, including nuclear weapon sites.
Why spend billions on weapons that could be rendered useless by drones costing a few thousand pounds, or by a hacker thousands of miles away who has infiltrated the computer system with an advanced virus?
If I haven’t convinced you yet, there’s an even more terrifying technology that is in development.
Nano-technology, the ability to build molecular machines, could rewrite your DNA or literally eat organic or metallic material.
It could target people with certain genes, wipe out every human in a country, and then self-destruct after a certain period of time, allowing an enemy to occupy territory unopposed.
A nuclear deterrent would be of no use at all against these threats.
This isn’t science fiction: this technology has been in development for years and is beginning to mature.
Spending £80 billion on weapons so cumbersome that any use would end civilisation as we know it is illogical.
It reflects an arrogant desire to remain on the ‘top table’ of states, able to compete militarily against Russia and China. But both have as little interest in nuclear conflict as we do.
Even if North Korea or a rogue Pakistan threatened the UK with nuclear weapons, we wouldn’t need the USA to come to our aid. China and Russia have as much to lose economically from nuclear conflict as everyone else.
The threat of nuclear war after the Second World War existed in the wake of Russia and China’s experience of destruction in their country.
In 2030, these countries will have no memory of surviving such destruction and the population, used to living in relative luxury, will have no desire to endure such horrors.
The last argument is that the USA would want Britain to retain its deterrent.
But a Britain which uses that £80 billion more wisely could develop exceptionally powerful cyber capabilities, and become a true cyber super power.
It could also invest better in its conventional forces, improving an army that is barely scraping 75,000 soldiers at the moment.
Furthermore, Britain is listed as the number one soft power nation in the world; this is not to be dismissed.
With globalisation and inter-locked financial markets, the ability to influence puts Britain truly at the top table of power.
This is of far more use to the USA than a UK with a useless deterrent.
The future of warfare will not be nuclear: it’ll be fought by robot soldiers so tiny we can’t see them and fought on the internet (I could argue the internet is already the most important battle-space).
So we have a choice. Go backwards – replace Trident and waste an opportunity.
Or go forwards, and become a true superpower of global influence in 2025.
My vote is for the latter.