On Sunday we gave you 5 reasons why David Cameron’s op-ed in the Sunday Telegraph was ‘nonsense’ citing that the British Prime Minister was not prepared to take the tough decisions over Iraq.
Yesterday, the Telegraph’s own Con Coughlin put the boot in further with his assertion that you cannot win a war without boots on the ground.
After all the controversy that has raged over our previous military campaign in Iraq, I can fully understand David Cameron’s hesitancy about getting involved in another costly intervention in the Middle East.
When the Prime Minister insists that, so far as our attempts to defeat Islamist militants in Iraq are concerned, there will be “no boots on the ground”, he is simply reflecting the public mood that, following our recent military entanglements in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the nation does not want to get involved in another foreign war.
Add to this the memories of Mr Cameron’s humiliating Commons defeat this time last year when he wanted to bomb the Assad regime in Syria, and you can see why he is hoping that a combination of air strikes and surgical strikes by specialist teams of Special Forces will be enough to turn the tide against Islamic State fighters.
I opposed last year’s proposed air strikes against the Assad regime for two reasons. Firstly, I was dubious that air strikes alone would prevent Bashar al-Assad from pursuing his genocidal policies against his own people. If the Government was serious about getting rid of Assad, then it needed to do the job properly by deploying ground troops, and I could not see that there was any public support for taking such dramatic action.
My other objection to overthrowing Assad was the probability that his regime would be replaced by exactly the kind of Islamist fanatics who have now seized control of northern Iraq.