France’s Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, wants Britain to join him in bombing Syria (“Britain, France Needs You in This Fight”, The Guardian, 27 Nov). It’s nice to be wanted. And it’s nice to know that Jean-Yves Le Drian and Michael Fallon are such good buddies that they have already met ten times this year alone.
Jean-Yves would like British forces to help France “defeat” ISIS with our spiffy Tornados, ‘second-to-none’ Brimstone missiles and top-of-the-range armed drones. He says “we have achieved a great deal together”, citing Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq as examples of this. I’m surprised he did not mention Suez as one of the great examples of British-French military collaboration. At least in Suez, the British and the French were not just tacked onto a US-dominated coalition but were out in front, bombing Egypt all on their own.
In Syria, on the other hand, the skies are already very crowded. US warplanes, along with those of at least ten other countries, have already conducted 2,700 bombing raids on ISIS positions in Syria and all the while ISIS continues to gain recruits, continues to gain territory, and continues to conduct terrorist activities around the world.
Perhaps with Britain joining in, the situation will suddenly reverse. But if Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq are anything to go by, all we will achieve is more death, more destruction and more chaos – the perfect breeding ground for yet more terrorism.