Britain must act on Isis

David Cameron's options on military intervention in Iraq and Syria are running out. Matthew Partridge reports.

"We have to fight groups like Isis," writes Tony Blair on the website of his faith foundation, following the launch of airstrikes in Syria. However, bombs may not be enough.

The evidence suggests that Isis, and similar groups around the world "can be hemmed in, harried and to a degree contained by airpower, but they can't be defeated by it".

While boots on the ground may not be popular, "we should not rule it out in the future if it is absolutely necessary".

What's more, "it would make no sense to declare that [UK] Tornadoes, designed as strike aircraft, will only fly reconnaissance missions presumably to photograph the terrorists to death", writes The Daily Telegraph.

Similarly, the days when solely humanitarian intervention was enough "are clearly over". Given that Isis "would launch attacks on British soil if it had the chance", it would be wrong "if we decided to leave others to deal with this threat and shrugged off any responsibility... David Cameron should recall Parliament and seek permission to send the RAF into action against Isil [Isis] wherever it may be".

Indeed, it's "unfortunate" that "Britain was not there to assist" in this week's strikes, says The Times. "This country's involvement is not central to the success of the operation... but acting in solidarity with our allies is an important symbol, both to them and the world."

One argument for delay is the supposed need for parliamentary approval for any military action. "But not every situation of emergency or rapid action is susceptible to the delay of a parliamentary recall. We elect governments to make difficult decisions."

The new campaign against Isis is "by some measure the most delicate military operation of recent times", says The Independent.

That's because in Iraq, "the US is fighting to restore the territorial and military morale of the Iraqi state", but "in Syria it is intervening in a civil war. And it is intervening on the opposite side to that on which Obama... tried and failed to intervene last year."

However, "despite the incoherence", Obama "had no choice in the matter". "We need to suck out the oxygen that keeps this burning," argues The Guardian. That means Iran and Saudi Arabia must work together "to restore coexistence between Sunni and Shia" in the Middle East.

There is evidence that both countries are beginning to understand "they have created a monster which threatens them all".

Recommended

Greensill, Cameron and the return of Tory sleaze
UK Economy

Greensill, Cameron and the return of Tory sleaze

The collapse of Greensill Capital threw a spotlight on political lobbying when it emerged that former PM David Cameron had been fighting its corner. J…
17 Apr 2021
Recovery Loan Scheme: the latest government aid package for small businesses
Small business

Recovery Loan Scheme: the latest government aid package for small businesses

The Recovery Loan Scheme will help companies weather the pandemic
16 Apr 2021
UK mid-cap stocks look forward to life after lockdown
UK stockmarkets

UK mid-cap stocks look forward to life after lockdown

The FTSE 250 hit an all-time high at the end of last week, as investors look to a post-lockdown recovery.
16 Apr 2021
House prices: from boom to even bigger boom
House prices

House prices: from boom to even bigger boom

UK house prices have risen to new to record highs, says Nicole Garcia Merida. Demand continues to outpace supply, but continued low interest rates, th…
9 Apr 2021

Most Popular

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021
What does the Coinbase listing mean for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin

What does the Coinbase listing mean for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

As the bitcoin price hit new highs, the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, listed on the stockmarket. John Stepek looks at what that m…
15 Apr 2021
Properties for sale for around £400,000
Houses for sale

Properties for sale for around £400,000

From a converted church in Banffshire with views towards the Cairngorms National Park, to a period property in the Georgian market town of Beverley, e…
2 Apr 2021