After the the bugled debate on whether Britain should take military action against Syria and its chemical weapons, parliamentary voices are now demanding that the Prime Minister be stripped of his legal right to send British forces into action.
They are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s declaration that as Parliament has debated Syria, that’s an end to it.
This was a debate that should never have taken place, let alone have been so poorly handled by the PM, to be hijacked by Labour leader Milliband’s puerile and now backfiring opportunism.
This latest follow-on debate, to strip the PM of his executive power to order HM Forces into action without having to go to Parliament, is yet another knee-jerk reaction to the Blair/Bush Iraq invasion travesty - too late… But if the reformers succeed, the consequences for our Armed Forces will be catastrophic.
Many commanders throughout military history have observed the need for rapid, decisive military action in order to save lives: to paraphrase:
“An objective that today requires a platoon to capture, will tomorrow demand a brigade…”
This is even more true today, because of the speed with which things happen globally. Military action takes place across entire hemispheres, let alone national boundaries; at the speed of radio transmissions.
To be forced to play out every potential operation in front of the world’s media doesn’t exactly allow our Forces to retain that most vital of advantages ‘Surprise’, and takes as we have seen with the UK debate, and now President Obama’s far more considered approach, at least a week to put through – presuming consensus.
If Milliband’s recent performance is to teach us anything, it’s that we cannot rely on our politicians to play with a straight bat even when the lives of our Armed Forces are st stake.
Cameron’s performance was simply inept, which isn’t good enough, but doesn’t mean that future PMs should be hamstrung by Parliament.
Far better legislation would be along the lines of the PM being forced to listen to Defence Staff, especially when national security is at stake and speed is of the essence.