I’ve written the following letter to the Bath Chronicle:
I was disappointed to see that our MP Don Foster, along with nearly all MPs of the large parties, voted on Friday for renewed military action in Iraq.
If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that this policy is doomed to failure. While major targets may be destroyed, it will be impossible to significantly damage a force such as ISIL from the air. With the threat of air strikes they will remain in cover, resulting in significant civilian casualties, and thus creating another generation of radicalised survivors set on vengeance against ‘the west’.
Not only is the military effectiveness questionable, but as Green MP Caroline Lucas, who voted against the action, said, “There are no easy answers. But there is this certainty: killing people rarely kills their ideas.” Even if we kill significant numbers of ISIL members, bombs will not stop their ideology.
I do not for one minute condone ISIL or their abhorrent actions. However, we are about to spend £3bn on killing people, some of whom will be entirely innocent. We should be concentrating on aiding those who are at risk in the region, intensifying diplomatic efforts and adopting a coherent foreign policy based on clear principles, consistently applied.