According to David Cameron we, the residents of the United Kingdom, are under imminent threat from ISIS. What does that mean though?
Are ISIS going to launch attacks from Syria?
Probably not. They don’t have capabilities such as long range missiles, ships, planes so they are unable to launch an attack from Syria.
Are they sending terrorists from Syria to attack the UK?
We obviously don’t have details of foiled attacks by the authorities but we can see that recently this has been occurring. Paris recently was attacked by terrorists who travelled freely through Europe and from Syria.
How at risk are we in the UK?
We have never been attacked by ISIS on UK soil. The 7th July London bombings were carried out by Islamic extremists but they were radicalised seemingly by action taken by Britain in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq. This was stated by one of the bombers Shehzad Tanweer in a video broadcast by Al-Jazeera on 6 July 2006.
The Glasgow Airport attack again was by British Muslims but they were not radicalised by ISIS but from the teachings of al Qaeda and to take revenge from UK actions in Palestine and Iraq.
The last attack on UK soil was the failed Exeter Bombing. Again a British Muslim (convert). No mention of ISIS, seems like this guy again has some problem with UK foreign policy.
In brief, we have been attacked but not by ISIS, by Muslims from the UK who disagree with how the West are behaving in respect of places like Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Should we bomb ISIS?
The problem we have is we don’t know how real the risk of an ISIS attack is. We have foiled plots and have border controls unlike mainland Europe. Is this enough to stop any potential attacks?
What we should be asking is why are we being attacked. It would seem that foreign policy is a large component of why we are at risk of attacks from UK residents so any bombing campaign in Syria would heighten the risk. But if we don’t support our allies against ISIS it seems weak. How could be ask for their help in the future?
When ISIS are being bombed already what benefit would be gained from us joining in? There is the cost, each bombing raid costing the UK taxpayer £508,000. Where is this money coming from when we are cutting public services at home?
Too many questions, not enough answers
I think there are too many questions that haven’t been answered to go wading into the bombing campaigns in Syria. It’s another Iraq all over again. The only thing I am certain of is that at some point we will need to send ground troops in but it seems that even despite experts saying this we are not addressing it. Cameron says there will be no ‘mission creep’ – I bet we have troops on the ground by the end of 2016.
I think before we go in we need to know who is going to be left with Syria once ISIS have gone. It will probably be Assad so we need to involve him and the Russians to defeat ISIS. With Assad onside we can politically influence him in the future and hopefully get him to treat the Syrians far better than he does currently. We all know what happened when Saddam was removed from Iraq, al Qaeda happened. Maybe ISIS might not have come about is Saddam was still in power in Iraq.
Anyway, what do I know? Not much. Maybe bombing ISIS is the right thing to do. Maybe it isn’t. I just hope that David Cameron knows what he is doing as especially with the involvement of Russia this could be the beginning of an almighty fuck up.