The horrific terrorist attacks in Paris have increased calls in some quarters for Britain to take a more active military role in the conflict against Daesh. Currently British forces are only active in Iraq and not in Syria. However with Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly preparing another vote for the House of Commons on this matter this could soon change. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn though remains unconvinced and believes a political solution in Syria would be better than any military solution.
The situation in Syria remains complex and it is clear there is no perfect solution. Undeniably though if Syria is to recover, Daesh need to be wiped out. They have a fascist identity and ideology and while they remain active and powerful there will never be a chance of peace. This is not a group that is prepared to negotiate and left to their own devices will continue to wreak havoc in that region and across the world.
Military action is never perfect and we can never be sure about where it will end, but at times it is necessary as a last resort to defeat a great evil. This is the situation we are in with Daesh. If Daesh is to be defeated, then the heart of their organisation must be struck in Syria. In order to be successful this will require both bombing from the air and troops on the ground. The bombing campaign itself will not be able to totally destroy Daesh but will weaken Daesh’s power base and hit their organisational base. Troops on the ground will also be needed to regain land on the ground. These troops should come from local regions rather than Western nations as this would only increase Daesh’s appeal and aid their arguments.
On the need to defeat Daesh, Russia and the West seem to be on the same page. This unity needs to be used and efforts need to be made to bring Russia on side, regardless of previous differences. We will be much stronger if we share information and resources and work together. This does not mean giving Russia a free hand to bomb whomever they please in Syria but rather support if they too go after Daesh.
Whilst Daesh exist in Syria there will be no political solution. They need to be removed and sooner rather than later. This will require military intervention and action. For Syria’s long term prospects Assad must also be removed and this cannot be ignored either. This though will be a harder process and will involve negotiations with Russia, where possibly a closer relationship can be built. Our first action must be to remove Daesh and after that hopefully a deal can be struck on Assad. The battle against Daesh is the battle of our generation and we have to be prepared to do what it takes to defeat them and this does involve military action. Corbyn and all his advocates surely have to accept this.
Article by Mike Hough
Photograph – The Daily Express