If not in Syria when and where are we prepared to fight?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by jaggers, Sep 3, 2013.

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  1. Direct attacks on Britain/British people only

    8 vote(s)
  2. Humanitarian interventions

    4 vote(s)
  3. Ideological Cold War style battle

    3 vote(s)
  4. Strategic threats

    7 vote(s)
  5. Never

    1 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. After getting our fingers burnt in Iraq and Afghanistan the mood in the West is slanted decidedly aginst foreign military interventions, we are drifting back into a period of dangerous isolationism. So when and where are we now prepared to fight? What do we consider worth it anymore?

    The Falklands and Northern Ireland? Easy, British citizens under attack by a foreign power/hostile element within their own society. Not to mention pirate hunting. No arguments there, the job of the armed forces is to protect the British people.

    Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Libya? Conflicts which we fight not because we have any direct interest but out of sheer humanitarianism.

    Iraq/Afghanistan/World Wars? Conflicts we fight not out of humanitarianism but strategic interest, for fear of what MIGHT happen if we left them unattended (after all in both World Wars we declared war on Germany, not the other way around).

    Korea/Malaya/Aden/Cold War, fighting for an ideology for fear that it would one day spread to our doorstep?

    Never? Have we passed that point? Are we now just like any other European power?
  2. Back? When was the last one?
  3. 1919-1939 for us. The Yanks can never seem to make their minds up and occasionally relapse into it
  4. I strongly suspect I will be out of kilter with general opinion but I believe in being a global force for good (just as long as we are resourced as such).

    My conscience doesn't sit well knowing that petty politics on the side of the Labour party got in the way of this country playing a part in letting Dictators know that gassing your own people is unacceptable. For what its worth, I also believe that our PM has been pushing the US President to act rather than the other way round. On this issue I agree with Lord Ashdown.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. How could we be isolationist with a global spanning empire?
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    I'd be inclined to put Sierra Leone in paragraph two together with the rest on the Commonwealth, include the Kurds in Iraq in paragraph three, , Libya paragraph four (oil) and Afghanistan in para five with its "terrorist training camps".

    Did we (RN) actually fight and fire shots in anger in Kosovo? (Genuine question).

    For those who feel we should cast ourselves in the thankless and unelected role of "World Police "; Maybe we should also re-brand the Ministry of Defence and change it's name back to the War Department to more accurately reflect it's purpose.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. I see. Isolationism isn't the word I would have used, more political naivety during the rise of the far right in Spain and Germany, but I see your point.

    Must admit I find your poll a little 'black and white'. Surely something as hugely serious as going to war depends on all sorts of circumstances which can't be captured in two words or small sentences.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Considering we still had an Empire covering a large percentage of the globe I'd hardly say we were "isolationist".
  9. And given that in 1919 they'd just finished 'The Great War' at the cost of millions of lives they may be forgiven for wanting to try peace for a few years.

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  10. What is 'good' is a matter of opinion.

    I'm no apologist for the labour party, but I think it's a bit harsh laying the blame on them. Surely it is possible that the filthy politicians voted with their *cough, cough, cough, splutter!* conscience, and had a different view on how to deal with the situation in Syria than you do, though I don't want to bring that argument to the fore again as we'll just go round in circles.
  11. What's wrong with that? The sooner the UK realises that it's not a superpower and hasn't been since the 19th century the better. It's time Britain realised it's place in the neighbourhood, stopped trying to be the hardest bloke in the local, shifted the piss soaked, rotting sofa off it's lawn, took charge of it's wheely bin torching feral kids and got it's guttering sorted out before taking every opportunity to tell all the other houses in the postcode to make sure they recycle.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2013
    • Like Like x 5
  12. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    Well we're not, so hang up the mask and the 6 shooter Lone Ranger.
  13. (granny)

    (granny) Book Reviewer

    Before deciding to take punitive action against any country that we deem beyond the pale...First make sure that you have the required muscle to carry such action through to the bitter end. Politicians be aware that YOU will be held accountable for any debacle that might occur.
  14. Each particular event should be considered on it's own merits. There cannot be a line in the sand which delineates where we take action or not as it is too simplistic. Also any action should carry the approval of the British public as we have already seen that parliament can be persuaded by well constructed lies to approve action that later turns out to be folly.
  15. There could been a line, 100+ places (including Syria) have signed up to saying chemical weapons are a step too far, and maybe if enough countries say we should dish out a slap, then if we are in the club, maybe we should be obliged to show support in whatever way we feel we can justify
  16. Whatever action a government decides to take they have to think where it will lead. If this cannot be reasonably assessed any action should be suspended until such time as it is.
    It is time to trot out the old adage "When you're up to your armpits with Alligators is difficult to remember that your original intention was to drain the swamp".
  17. True, but it shouldnt be a case of not doing anything because you are frightened of the repercussions of your actions, and I prefer, if you are up to your neck in shit and someone throws a turd, do you duck.
  18. Oh we intervened in the Empire alright but that was our turf at the time. But we did nothing when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, the Japs invaded China, Germany starting snapping up Europe etc
  19. Oh yeah, obviously some conflicts fit into more than one category, Libya and Korea for instance. As for Kosovo, yes, Invicible carried out airstrikes (if memory recalls they shot down one of our Harriers but thankfully UN peacekeepers rescued the pilot?)and it was the first time we used our cruise missiles.
    The debate of being the 'World Police' has been going on since Palmerston vs Disraeli but frankly if we CAN act surely there's a moral imperative to do so?
  20. Oh we were still a superpower right up until the end of WW2 then our decline began. As for the argument that we should sort our own problems out first then turn to the rest of the world, well when are we ever going to decide we're good enough?

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