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Guest Writer: UK Must Attack ISIL

Hamish de Bretton Gordon

Hamish de Bretton Gordon

By Hamish De Bretton Gordon OBEGUESTSM2


There can be no doubt after the Paris attacks, and the downing of the Russian airliner, that ISIL intend to kill all those who don’t believe in their horrific caliphate wherever and whenever they can. Britain can no longer dabble in this war against ISIL which was so clearly articulated by Prime Minister Hollande of France. The day in September 2013 when our Parliament voted not to strike Assad, after he killed 1500 off his people, mainly women and children with chemical weapons, was a dark day for Britain and a key factor in the rise of ISIL. It hugely diminished the UK’s ability to influence world events.assad

Britain can prevaricate no longer. We must use all our military, security and diplomatic means to fight and destroy ISIL in Syria, Iraq, Britain and anywhere its influence is directed. The Peshmerga of Iraqi Kurdistan have yet again shown us, with British support, that ISIL can be defeated as they retook Sinjar from ISIL.

Many claim that British air strikes in Syria and further British support to the fight on terror will make little difference, but this is commentary from people who evidently know little of warfare and certainly have no practical experience in these matters. Royal Air Force jets may be few in number, but their precision strike capabilities are the best in the world. UK Special Forces, the SAS, et al, are the best in the world and ideally suited to bring down terror networks as they so ably demonstrated from WW2 through the Malaya Emergency, the Dofar Campaign, Northern Ireland, Iraq and many other (not to be named) successes. Equally our counter terror police and the Security Services (MI5, 6 & GCHQ) are the best at seeking out terror. These are the surgical weapons which now must be fully unleashed.

We must attack them directly and comprehensively in their centres of Raqqa and Mosul in Syria and Iraq. We must disrupt their attempts at radicalising the few vulnerable and disaffected youth in this country could fall prey to their recruiting methods.

The population of this country will play a huge role in keeping the United Kingdom safe. Our collective vigilance thwarted many an IRA, Al Qaeda and other terror attacks. It is also the stoicism of the British public which is needed more than ever to hold their nerve and not to succumb to the horrifically brilliant ISIL physiological campaign.

It is time for our politicians to debate and vote for comprehensive strikes against ISIL in Syria to ensure the terror we saw in Paris does not pervade our lives for the next generation or so. The time for talking is nearly over, it is action that is now required, it is time to defend our democracy with all means even if that means not always practicing it.

With Britain fully engaged militarily, and our much respected diplomatic skills used to bring the US, the Russians, Iranians and others together to collectively and comprehensively attack and destroy ISIL, there is a chance that the many dead in France could, and should, be the beginning of the end of ISIL.

Hamish De Bretton Gordon OBE is a former commander of NATO’s CBRN Battalion.
The views of the author are not necessarily those of the W&Y.


4 Comments on "Guest Writer: UK Must Attack ISIL"

  1. We cannot afford to do nothing. I am minded of WWII what would have happened if we had laid down on the ground or run away? We protected ourselves and helped save other countries. So what is different now?

  2. nehad ismail - United Kingdom | 17th November 2015 at 9:02 am | Reply

    I agree with Hamish’s excellent analysis. Referring to the last para, I don’t think Iran and Russia will be reliable allies of the West in the fight against ISIS. ISIS has so far helped the Assad’s regime to survive. Iran according to the US is the biggest sponsor of terrorism. It has used Al Qaeda in the past for its own political strategies and is now jointly with Assad is using ISIS.

    Iran actually has a lot to gain from keeping ISIS alive. As long as the group survives, Iran can claim that their allies in Syria and Iraq are preventing a jihadist takeover — an argument that raises Tehran’s prestige and ensures it a degree of international support for their allies in both countries. This argument has so far worked. The Guardian reported in Sept 2014 that “the Syrian government and its close allies in Moscow and Tehran warned Barack Obama that an offensive against Islamic State (Isis) within Syria would violate international law”. The implication is obvious: leave ISIS alone. This is still true now.
    Russia has been criticised by the West for not targeting ISIS. According to activists operating inside Syria, Russia attacks targets selected and pre-approved by the Assad’s regime. Philip Hammond and John Kerry know that but are too shy to confront Putin with this fact.

  3. What the British Government should do and what it can do are not the same. A significant number of British citizens consider themselves ‘pacifist’, others have problems with attacking a Moslem foe because of their own religion. There are two battles for the Government. The battle against Daesh/ISIL and the battle for UK minds. I would like to see far more anger expressed by the British Moslem community, for a start. Oh, and could someone please close down that dangerous idiot they are now calling ‘Jihadi Jez’?

  4. Not saying that overall I agree with the author, simply must think about what the reality actually is.

    In America, Cracker Republicon, Lindsay Graham, wants many more US troops in Syria, and Assad out of power, but first there’s some serious stuff which must be addressed:

    28-redacted-pages of the 9/11 Commission Report must be shown to the public – now! (Which our American politicians have told us pertains to the Saudis!)

    If there is to be any type of “regime change” it must be of those head choppers of Saudi Arabia, who have long been supporting these terrorists and terrorism.

    A complete a thorough forensic audit of the CIA, DIA, NSA and State Department to track down those monies which have been used to finance al Qaeda and any and all ISIS entities.

    Some further food for thought:

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