Quite the opposite: I am saying that warfare results in devastation and a huge loss of life, as indeed we are seeing in Syria today. Sir Peter Bottomley drew attention to the seminal work of Sir Michael Quinlan on nuclear strategy, and one of the points he made very strongly in all his works was that conventional warfare, particularly with modern technology, has awful consequences. We must therefore try to contain, if not abolish, warfare, and rather than just focus on one aspect of warfare, that is the important issue we have to address.
Some believe that maintaining the peace is achieved by disarmament or by pacifism. I argue that history demonstrates that peace is better maintained by preparedness and vigilance. That is why continuous at-sea deterrence has been so critical in keeping the peace for the past 50 years and why we owe so much to those who operate it around the clock and those who build it and maintain it around the country. It may be a silent service, but this anniversary gives us the opportunity to both acknowledge and praise it.