Sunday, 20 March 2011

War in North Africa is not our aim!

It is easy to be smug and contrast the British involvement in Libya with the disastrous deployment in Iraq. It is certainly better that we are not breaking international law and that we have a coalition that is broadly based. Nevertheless many of the questions that were raised over Afghanistan are also pertinent in relation to Libya. Adrian Sanders the Lib Dem MP for Torbay raises some of them in his posting ; 'Are we moving towards another war in the Middle East'.

There are a number of unresolved questions and constituents are raising a number of very real concerns over where we are going.  After all, many of the problems we had in Afghanistan and Iraq came from poor planning, poor strategy, no clear objective and hidden ulterior motives.
The Government needs to make sure it answers all of the questions we raise as it is public money being spent and more importantly our servicemen and women’s lives being put on the line. 
I for one want to know how we intend to to end our involvement, is there a plan for rebuilding Libya and what sort of budget have we set aside for that process?
I've no doubt that the right wing of the Tory Party will already be gearing up to sabotage the defence review  and urging increased expenditure. For us it allows us to draw attention to the really important choice between maintaining a futile nuclear weapon which does not deter  and can only be used at the behest of the USA and having an armed service designed to meet the demand of 21st Century.. It is encouraging that some Tories have understood this and we must not allow the others to frame the debate in such a fashion that they can fulfil their dreams of Britain being once again a grand, swaggering power. 
It was interesting to hear the FT Political editor on the radio this morning remarking that Paddy Ashdown had been in favour of every military deployment over the last 50yrs and now that his proteges were in the leadership of the party they would be on-board with the military approach. I doubt that is true.

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