.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Lib Dem MPs should not ignore their own preconditions before voting on bombing Syria

Just a week ago the Liberal Democrats leadership set out five conditions before the party will support any military intervention in Syria. Those conditions and the context in which they were made can be read here. For clarity though they are set out below:

1) Legal

Military intervention must follow an international legal framework. We believe this has been provided by UN Resolution 2249 which urges members to take “all reasonable measures” to defeat ISIL. This is the instrument with which all those opposed to ISIL have the means to coordinate military action to defeat them, including regional actors on the ground.

2) Wider diplomatic framework including efforts towards a no-bomb zone to protect civilians

Any military action by the UK must be part of a wider international effort involving all who have an interest in defeating ISIL, as a prelude to ending the conflict in Syria, including Russia, Iran and Turkey. The UK Government should use all efforts to ensure that the Vienna talks succeed in bringing together the broadest possible support for action to end the war in Syria and effect political transition. In addition, we call on the government to explicitly work towards ending the Syrian regime’s bombing of civilians with a no-bomb zone to maximise civilian protection and allow for an upscaling of humanitarian access.

3) UK led pressure on Gulf States for increased support in the region

The UK should lead a concerted international effort to put pressure on the Gulf States, specifically Saudi Arabia and the Emiratis, to stop the funding of jihadi groups within the region and worldwide and do much more to assist in the effort to defeat ISIL, establish peace in Syria and help with the refugee situation. They are currently doing very little, despite claiming to be part of the anti-ISIL coalition. ISIL is not just a Western problem, and this is one way of preventing them from framing the situation in that way.

4) Post-ISIL plan

The government must be absolutely clear on what Syria and Iraq will look like post-ISIL, and what post-conflict strategy (including an exit strategy) they propose to give the best chance of avoiding a power vacuum. This must be linked to the above diplomatic framework which will outline steps for ending the wider conflict in Syria.

5) Domestic

We acknowledge that the fight against ISIL is not just in the Middle East: it is within Europe and it is here in the UK. We call on the government to immediately publish its 2014 investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood and also call on them to conduct an investigation into foreign funding and support of extremist and terrorist groups in the UK.

At the time of writing I do not know what the eight Liberal Democrats MPs will do. However, it is clear to me that many of the pre-conditions have not been met and that a lot more work needs to be undertaken by the UK Government and its allies before any bombing or other military intervention takes place.

In particular, funding for jihadi groups need to be cut off, and an exit plan put in place involving international agreement on what Syria and Iraq will look like after our intervention.

We must learn the lessons of the Iraq war. If we do not then we will fuel more terrorism, acting as a recruiter for ISIL, we will create more refugees and we will kill lots of innocent people. I am all in favour of taking action against ISIL but we must ensure that such action is effective and decisive. I do not believe that we are there yet.
Thank you for your concise and informative comments. The current situation is complex and those of us with less political understanding have to run to keep up. Any well thought through information is valuable in aiding our understanding.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?