Salisbury JournalDon't rule out troops' return: Fox (From Salisbury Journal)

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Don't rule out troops' return: Fox

Salisbury Journal: Former defence secretary Liam Fox has said a return to Iraq by Western troops "should not be ruled out" Former defence secretary Liam Fox has said a return to Iraq by Western troops "should not be ruled out"

The consequences of a victory for extremist insurgents in Iraq are so "potentially catastrophic" that the possibility of sending British troops should not be ruled out, former defence secretary Liam Fox said.

Dr Fox said he understood the "extreme reluctance" of the UK and America to put western boots back on the ground but argued the option should stay on the table.

Iraqi security forces had been "pretty pathetic" in their response so far, he said, and it "remains to be seen" whether the country's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki could lead an effective response.

If that proved impossible, then western intervention would become irresistible, the Tory MP suggested.

London and Washington have ruled out putting troops on the ground as part of the response to the bloody territory grab by jihadists who have seized control of several key towns, including the second city, Mosul.

"There will be an extreme reluctance by any Western governments to do so but I don't think at the moment, given the potential consequences of Isis (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) success, that anything can be ruled out at this stage," Dr Fox told BBC2's Newsnight.

"The question in the coming days will be whether Maliki can rise up as a statesman at this late stage, whether the Iraqi military - given all the investment that has been made in their equipment and training - can fight back.

"That remains to be seen and then I think this situation will have to be watched very closely by the international community because the price of failure ... to confront and defeat Isis could be catastrophic and felt well beyond the region."

He added: "I do agree that it does look as though the Iraqi government are beginning some sort of fightback, notwithstanding the pretty pathetic efforts of their forces so far.

"We have seen them in the past being able to take on insurgents and they will hopefully be able to do so again."

He said Mr al-Maliki was "paying the price" for refusing to sign a status of forces agreement when Barack Obama withdrew American troops in 2011 - meaning none were able to stay to continue training and equipping Iraqi forces.

Comments (5)

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8:20am Sat 14 Jun 14

Lastpost says...

Perhaps the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, will now wake up after systematically slashing our Forces, disbanding whole Regiments and reducing our regular Army towards its lowest level since the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

We now spend less of our GDP on our defence than Greece. Hammond is keen to have a Regular Army that is small enough to take to Wembley Stadium and give each officer and soldier their own seat and still have 8000 seats spare.

Another Iraq war is not winnable. Hammond has ensured that and it will not be too long before I expect to see his resignation in the news.
Perhaps the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, will now wake up after systematically slashing our Forces, disbanding whole Regiments and reducing our regular Army towards its lowest level since the time of the Napoleonic Wars. We now spend less of our GDP on our defence than Greece. Hammond is keen to have a Regular Army that is small enough to take to Wembley Stadium and give each officer and soldier their own seat and still have 8000 seats spare. Another Iraq war is not winnable. Hammond has ensured that and it will not be too long before I expect to see his resignation in the news. Lastpost
  • Score: 1

10:28am Sat 14 Jun 14

welshmen says...

Liam Fox big ideas big mouth, you go and stop the butchers of Iraq killing their own, Labour looking for the Muslim vote at the expense of more British Forces, if ever the Labour Party get into power they will send what's left of our Forces back to that sh-thole in the sand to help Muslims who want to rule us and the world, let them get on with killing each other, just send aid to the people who don't, wake up, look on youtube see who's butchering who, keep out of it, not our problem never was, just the petrol money men want us to get involved so they and their banker mates can make more money selling Arm's to both sides, then their other Construction mates rebuilding the bombed out Cities....
Liam Fox big ideas big mouth, you go and stop the butchers of Iraq killing their own, Labour looking for the Muslim vote at the expense of more British Forces, if ever the Labour Party get into power they will send what's left of our Forces back to that sh-thole in the sand to help Muslims who want to rule us and the world, let them get on with killing each other, just send aid to the people who don't, wake up, look on youtube see who's butchering who, keep out of it, not our problem never was, just the petrol money men want us to get involved so they and their banker mates can make more money selling Arm's to both sides, then their other Construction mates rebuilding the bombed out Cities.... welshmen
  • Score: 0

11:07am Sat 14 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Funny how British governments can always find money to go to war at the drop of a hat over the hills and far away, but are perpetually skint when it comes to providing an adequate level of health and social care in their own country.

I suppose though the NHS and the mundane day to day essentials such as looking after children and elderly people shine hardly as attractively to the jolly thrilling boys' own adventure that many of our chickenhawk politicians feel that war is. And, I mean, going to war in Iraq to secure it for peace and democracy worked so well the first time, didn't it? As surely evidenced by this latest state of affairs.

Still, let's hope this is going to be one of those wars in which no-one comes back wounded and simply gets up and walks away for coffee break after they've been shot or blown up - ya know, just like one of those Hollywood ones. For if it's not, according to the government we would never be able to afford to treat the projected amount of extra battlefield casualties on the NHS, would we chaps? If push comes to shove no doubt wounded soldiers would just be expected to 'do the decent thing' crawl away into a corner somewhere and not make a fuss, eh?

I mean, a fuss that would potentially cause immense embarrassment to the grandstanding MPs that sent them there....Pack up your troubles in your own kitbag, chin up and it'll all be over by Christmas, what what...now where's the next photo opportunity?
Funny how British governments can always find money to go to war at the drop of a hat over the hills and far away, but are perpetually skint when it comes to providing an adequate level of health and social care in their own country. I suppose though the NHS and the mundane day to day essentials such as looking after children and elderly people shine hardly as attractively to the jolly thrilling boys' own adventure that many of our chickenhawk politicians feel that war is. And, I mean, going to war in Iraq to secure it for peace and democracy worked so well the first time, didn't it? As surely evidenced by this latest state of affairs. Still, let's hope this is going to be one of those wars in which no-one comes back wounded and simply gets up and walks away for coffee break after they've been shot or blown up - ya know, just like one of those Hollywood ones. For if it's not, according to the government we would never be able to afford to treat the projected amount of extra battlefield casualties on the NHS, would we chaps? If push comes to shove no doubt wounded soldiers would just be expected to 'do the decent thing' crawl away into a corner somewhere and not make a fuss, eh? I mean, a fuss that would potentially cause immense embarrassment to the grandstanding MPs that sent them there....Pack up your troubles in your own kitbag, chin up and it'll all be over by Christmas, what what...now where's the next photo opportunity? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 2

8:15pm Sat 14 Jun 14

varteg1 says...

I am sure Fox knows where to collect his uniform and rifle?

Look here Liam, don't do as I do do as I say.. get your marching boots on, ands before you commit anyone else to do so.
I am sure Fox knows where to collect his uniform and rifle? Look here Liam, don't do as I do do as I say.. get your marching boots on, ands before you commit anyone else to do so. varteg1
  • Score: 1

8:48pm Sat 14 Jun 14

welshmen says...

varteg1 wrote:
I am sure Fox knows where to collect his uniform and rifle?

Look here Liam, don't do as I do do as I say.. get your marching boots on, ands before you commit anyone else to do so.
Well said....
[quote][p][bold]varteg1[/bold] wrote: I am sure Fox knows where to collect his uniform and rifle? Look here Liam, don't do as I do do as I say.. get your marching boots on, ands before you commit anyone else to do so.[/p][/quote]Well said.... welshmen
  • Score: 0
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