Learn From, Don't Repeat, Our Past
The evil of Islamic State must be beaten. To do that we need to be smart and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Invading Iraq opened up the Pandora’s Box of religious fundamentalism. We have to stop being in denial that our military intervention in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan has made things worse, it was exactly what Islamic State would have wanted us to do. First of all, we must stop being a recruiting agent for Islamic State.
Adding a tiny UK military force will only inflame the incendiary cocktail of religious, ethnic and sectarian violence and civil war that has been unleashed in the region. Attacking another country and taking [often innocent]lives without a plan of what we wish to achieve, how we would build a lasting peace and what our exit strategy should be, would rerun the mistakes we have made in the last decade in the region.
We need to understand our enemy and isolate them from mainstream Muslim opinion using the intelligence and statecraft for which we were once famous.
The real answer is long-term, above all supporting the reformation of Islam so the fundamentalists can be rejected by Muslims everywhere. In the immediate we need to develop safe havens, work –however unpalatable it may be-with Assad and Putin , build an Arab coalition of Middle Eastern forces perhaps under United Nations auspices, confront the Saudi funders of Islamic State and cut off the free-flowing oil money from Northern Iraq which feeds IS.
While our first understandable reaction to any atrocity will always be to “do something” but MP’s above all need to use a cool head and have a clear long term strategy if we are to prevent the cycle of killing becoming a permanent fixture in our childrens lives.