It looks like the British public are being softened up for yet another foreign war (Hammond seeks to win support for widening air strikes against Isis in Syria,22/07/15). We had the political input on Monday from May and Cameron , and now the Foreign Secretary is making the military case for extending the bombimg of Isis into Syria. With "surveillance and reconnaissance" already taking place, Hammond strangely thinks it is "militarily inefficient" because when information is gathered, it has to "task another asset belonging to another coalition partner". Provided my understanding is not being muddled by the confusing language, handing over intelligence to another country to do the bombing sounds reasonably efficient to me.
As Paddy Ashdown rightly says, however, the bombing "will not destroy Isis just by killing more Muslim Arabs with Western bombs" (Diplomacy not bombs will defeat Isis - the West is being sucked into sectarian conflict,22/07/15). Of course, it is obvious diplomacy has to be the first resort, especially as the usual justification given for violent jihadism is the foreign policy of the west, with its repeated invasions, interference and killing. The UK and its government should not only learn from its recent actions in the Middle East, rather than repeat the mistakes, but also remember how peace finally came to Northern Ireland.
A prime minister hectoring young Muslims about British values does no good whatsoever, but its damage is nothing like that caused by an unnecessary increase in bombing. Parliament must resist this, and listen to Ashdown.