Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Oh Dave, Make Haste to Help Us?

Given the patchy record of foreign interventions in recent decades - an Iraq for every Kosovo - it makes no sense that only 1 day of debate is being allowed for the decision to bomb Syria. Why the rush? If it's the right decision, then taking longer over it will reveal the rightness. It's hard to make a good decision in a hurry. 

I'm bemused that we have a majority of MPs prepared to vote in favour of this: we have Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq as cautionary tales of military action taken without an exit strategy or planning for what happens afterwards. Every bomb dropped will mean millions in reconstruction costs further down the tracks, but the government isn't even offering a promise of rebuilding to the civilians of Syria who will have to live with the mess after Daesh are history. 

"We don’t really know what we want to achieve other than to hear the sound of bombs falling on Raqqa, thus satisfying the need to do something. We can’t win if we don’t know what winning looks like." (Giles Fraser)

Ian Paul offers 7 good reasons to really take our time over this, and consider if there is a less sexy, but more effective, way to tackle Daesh. 

Cameron has been itching to bomb Syria for a while, and the Paris attacks have given him the reason/excuse/pretext he needs. But the Paris attacks don't really change any of the military logic. If, as is frequently announced, 7 similar attacks have been foiled on the UK this year, then the threat has always been there, it's just that this time they weren't caught by the security services. The fact that one attack was successful, instead of joining with the other failures, doesn't change any of the maths around ISIS in Syria. If it didn't make sense a month ago, it doesn't make sense now. 

1 comment:

  1. How arrogant is David Cameron? He is itching to be another Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher, or even Winston Churchill - a war winning Prime Minister who can retire tothe lucrative US lecture circuit before the 2020 General Election. Has he forgotten what happened to Churchill after the 1945 General Election?

    There are no winners in a war, only losers and victims on all sides. One of the highest British Generals in NATO have told him that bombing Syria won't work. The only way to defeat this evil is to put thousands of troops on the ground, with the motivation to take them on at their own game. Without that, we're just postponing the inevitable. But we won't go that route, we don't have the armed forces or political will to deploy troops in support of the Kurdish, Syrian and Iraqi government's who are want that sort of help, but we'd have to abandon the wishful thinking of Regime change in Syria, forgetting the chaos we unleashed after Iraq, Libya etc, etc.

    And I am not a terrorist sympathiser, but a former soldier who in the last few years of Afghanistan on the home front picked up the wreckage of families devastated by yet another casualty. I am a pacifist in terms of war, but not an appeasement pacifist.

    If we are to take action, it needs to be within an alliance, under the UN Umbrella, with a stated aim to return the status quo in both Iraq and Syria to a legitimate government, whether Assad or a coalition, which is the hope of the peace conference due to start soon - that's where my prayers are being laid at the moment.