In Sept 2014 I suggested airstrikes would play into the hands of ISIS in an interview on London Live. Along with other commentators, among them the former commander of the SAS Richard Williams, I suggested that without a local partner airstrikes were pointless. This view did not agree with the MOD view that strategic airstrikes are effective, with some commentators, General Richards, even now assuring the public that had parliament voted to bomb Assad ISIS would not have gained the traction it has.
Given our policy failure in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the increased threat to mainland UK and Europe from terrorist cells, perhaps the question to parliament should not be whether to bomb? The French have, and seem ineffective. But if we bomb, what is the target? My view is the only effective strikes will be those in tactical support of boots on the ground. Not ours but the Kurds, uniquely effective against ISIS but whose agenda is the formation of Kurdistan, which is now inevitable, with the consequent regional fall out this new state will cause with Turkey. And Assads forces, however unpalatable to the West have the coherent military structure to defeat ISIS and are now receiving tactical support from Russia. But will our parliament really vote to indirectly support a man who bombs his own people? Like a carpenter sawing the leg off a table to level it our repeated ad hoc military interventions have left us with a very low, and rickety table.