The world faces an alarming collection of international crises at a time of weak leadership at home and amongst our allies. From fighting in Gaza, to civil war in Ukraine and the advance of an extremist terrorist army across northern Iraq, there are profound causes for concern. What is the UK government’s strategic response to these? The Prime Minister may be talking about purely humanitarian intervention, but what makes him think that this is all that will be needed. Events don’t respect recess plans, Parliament needs to be recalled.
I find it increasingly difficult to divine any strategic principles underpinning government action in foreign affairs and defence commitments. We have seen an alarming absence of strategy over Ukraine, Gaza and now Iraq. Doing nothing on any of these three situations isn’t a sustainable position for Britain. But how do any of the individual decisions taken, either alone, or with the EU, NATO partners or the UN fit int0 an overall British strategy? I don’t think the government has one. And if it does, it had better come to Parliament in order to explain what it is.