Apparently Defence Secretary Philip Hammond believes we’re fed up with long wars in foreign lands and he’s partly right, but as ever he tries to spin things in a manner consistent with the governments thinking…
Politicians must pledge that future wars will be short with clear goals that will convince a ‘war-weary’ public, says Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.
A decade of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to a ‘climate of scepticism’ and an ‘irrational fear’ about military intervention in broken states, he says.
Even the threat of terrorism from volatile foreign countries no longer convinced British people that war was necessary.
His comments – made at the weekend during a debate at the Munich Security Conference – came as it emerged that he had urged ministers to lobby unions to back Trident.
Mr Hammond fears that Labour will ‘wobble’ over the need for a nuclear deterrent and has called for the unions to press Labour on the threat this would pose to Britain’s shipbuilding industry.
But his warning of an ‘irrational’ fear of war among British voters will provoke more controversy. ‘There is a climate of scepticism about engagement in failed or failing countries, a fear of getting entrapped in longer term, deeper forms of engagement,’ he said.
‘Increasingly we need to present intervention as time-limited and with strictly defined ambitions.
‘We are at a point in the UK where there is a war-weariness after ten years of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I believe that we’re actually weary of being drawn into wars and conflicts with countries that are actually none of our business. Yes I could sort of see a point about being drawn into Afghanistan, but only to destroy the terrorist training camps funded by the Saudi’s. After that we should simply have monitored the place and occasionally nipped in to level them as and when necessary. As it is, we forced the Taliban out of Afghanistan and into northern Pakistan and destabilised their border region leading to more radical islamic influences causing problems in that country.
As for Iraq, weapons of mass destruction or not, we have achieved nothing there save only to radicalise more Muslims and have caused internal problems for other religions which believe it or not were actually protected to a degree by Saddam Hussein.
If and it’s a big if we are to wage a war we need a clearly seen set of objectives and also we need a clearly defined exit strategy, a sort of job’s done lets bugger off and leave them too it move.
We have no interests really in the Middle East, certainly nothing worth fighting over and if we do then it should be the equivalent of a smash and grab raid. No troops on the ground at all, simply bombs from the air, drone strikes if you will.
That’s why the UK public did not want involvement in Syria, not because we thought it would be a long war, but because it was none of our damned business if Syrians want to butcher each other.
That our politicians can’t see that is a given, in this as with many things the general public is at least a decade ahead of them.
Our only interest military wise should be a few protectorates abroad and the French, no one else should interest us from a military point of view.