Hmmm, been a while and you have my apologies for that. Not that this is any great exposition of my grand skills as an oracle, sadly, it is just some post holiday news I feel you should read.
“Secondly, other anti-interventionists argue – almost hysterically – that the parliamentarians’ vote is connected to a deeper malaise surrounding Britain’s global role; that the missionary fervour, which has frequently animated the British national psyche, has finally collapsed into a heap of ignominy. They welcome a reduction in the United Kingdom’s status towards a ‘normal’ central European country, which minds its own business and keeps itself to itself. Sadly for them, this is also humbug: like the French and Americans, the British remain very much a missionary democracy, with a powerful sense of national destiny, which encourages London towards intervention in other countries’ affairs.”
“the true foundation of the special relationship is first and foremost the relationship between the armed forces of the two countries. As retired US Army Four Star General Jack Keane said this week of the proposed Syria operation, “We operate side by side with the UK and we know who our closest ally is. We certainly would much rather do this with the UK side by side, that’s how the military feels,[and] I really think the leaders of the country feel”
“It is telling in that what is supposed to an age of shared sovereignty and greater multi-national co-operation, many large institutions like the EU or NATO are seemingly completely irrelevant in putting their views across. This crisis perhaps helps reinforce that baring a major change in the international system, the nation state, not the institution will remain the ultimate negotiating power.”
I am happy for Britain to be an effective international actor, an “A” power as a German paper recently described it, and I would prefer we were more decisive in enacting the governments will on Syria. However, we live in a different world now.
We’ve fended off the militant pacifism that has infected the continent admirably, but the Iraq war at the same time as Afghanistan has threatened to wreck this consensus on liberal intervention.
I see parliamentary control of war as being the best mechanism we have to ensure an active foreign policy in future, it represents the best opportunity we have to keep the public engaged in what Lindley-French describes as our missionary Foreign Policy.
From the point of view of an effectively communicated geopolitics I would happily see the PM retain this power, but that I fear would only be a faster route to Belgium.
The point being; someone needs to take the hard decisions, and that has always been something the international community has had confidence that we will do.
Germany will always be willing to send some humanitarian aid, which is lovely.
India will happily send peacekeepers, to a none hostile environment. Thanks.
Japan will provide billions in interest free loans for reconstruction, just dandy.
Russia will happily have a quiet word with a belligerent, for a price.
But when the machetes are rising and falling, and the sarin silently dispersing, who makes the hard call?
None of the above should suggest I support intervention in Syria as is. I just object to the decrying Britain’s role as a world power (however nebulous that term is).
Let Parliament have its say, I remain confident in the people.