Coffee House

Hague fleshes out Britain’s role in the decades-long response to terrorism

21 January 2013

8:57 AM

21 January 2013

8:57 AM

The Prime Minister’s two statements on the Algerian hostage crisis on Friday and Sunday set some tongues wagging about what sort of a role he saw Britain playing in the ‘global response’ that was ‘about years, even decades’ to the terror threat in North Africa.

William Hague fleshed that out a little bit more in his Today programme interview, arguing that the West couldn’t resolve all the world’s problems:

‘It is a complete illusion to think that we are omnipotent in all of these respects. Of course there are many, many factors at play. I’m describing to you what the United Nations have been doing, what Western countries have been doing. We’ve also been increasing our counter-terrorism co-operation with western African countries – Nigeria and Mauritania and so on.’

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He added that ‘a whole variety of political and economic instruments’ were needed ‘as well as, where necessary, the military power’. But in the case of military power, he said, France had already suppled that, and in any case that power ‘must come from African countries in order to resolve these problems’.

But Hague was also keen to argue on the radio that when the world’s policemen do intervene, it is for good (Tim Montgomerie has a forceful piece making the same point in the Times today): he said getting involved in Libya meant the west had reduced problems in Mali, rather than added to them.

The Cobra committee will meet again this morning, with the Prime Minister giving another statement in the Commons at 3.30pm. One thing to look out for when he does, as well as what he envisages Britain’s role being in the decades-long global response, is whether he now accepts that Algeria had to act without contacting him last week. He was clear on Friday that he had been disappointed not to have been contacted, but new information may well have shown that the Algerian forces had little choice.


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Show comments
  • Daniel Maris

    If there’s one way to get the public opposed to a military campaign, it’s to tell them it will be a “decades-long” operation. Watatwat!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …sorta like your windmill nonsense, then?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    “…(Hague) said getting involved in Libya meant the west had reduced problems in Mali, rather than added to them.”

    .

    That’s the one thing about foreign policy guys… when they lie, their lies are outright… … and stand naked on the barren landscape.

    Hague is lying. He knows he’s lying. We know he’s lying. He knows that we know he’s lying. And he’s lying anyway.

    The excellent Libyan adventure has precipitated all of this follow-on islamofascist slaughter in both Mali and Algeria. Anybody who denies that is lying.

  • HooksLaw

    I have decided that Ms Hardman is in fact aged about 13. Either that or she thinks her audience is aged 12.
    Maybe she has a point.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      I think she’s around 28 and hasn’t yet had a real job….

    • Noa

      Regardless what of her age might be she sets an excellent example by displaying courtesy and good manners towards those post here.

  • Noa

    The fallout from our inept military intervention on Libya has now spread to Algeria and Mali.

    Thanks to Cameron and Hollande the question is now who, where and when will the next Christian kuffirs, European or African, be murdered by the international Islamic militants of the world Caliphate?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      It has been going on in Nigeria for some time where that other “British” oil company Shell is present and Muslim killings of Christians seek to start a civil war in Nigeria. Yet the British persist in humiliating Nigerian Christians by pushing Gay Rights inside the Anglican Church allowing Muslims to portray African Christians as godless

    • Daniel Maris

      I believe the pre-Caliphate is already in place, comprised of Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – with Syria likely to join soon. We can’t see it but I think it is taking place behind the scenes in secret meetings and contacts between these powers who then co-ordinate their foreign policies.

      • chan chan

        It does already exist, but not how you describe. It’s much bigger than that. The leader of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation said on its own website that the organisation “fulfils the functions of a caliphate”.

        That includes all 56 Islamic states worldwide. And the bloody stump that is the so-called “Palestinian Authority” makes it 57. You may want to read their ten year plan as published on their website, in English, one of the OIC’s official languages, along with French and Arabic.

        It is, shall we say, most illuminating with respect to their intentions…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

    The USA is letting Britain and France decide to cut Welfare and increase Defence spending as it charges France for transporting materiel to Mali – $19 million and ponders French requests for KC-135 refuelling tankers – at least according to WSJ. The USA wants Europe to pasy its way and Hague waffles on about Discount Soldiers in a BOGOF deal since he thinks like Hurd that somehow Britain can get by on the cheap. It is silly strutting by small man-boys like Hague that makes terrorists simply want to rub their noses in the dirt……they die as in Algeria simply to take people down with them and taunt the motor-mouth tendencies in Western Media Politics

    • Chris lancashire

      I doubt I would describe the quote above as “silly strutting” by Hague. Unless he said a lot more unreported it seems eminently reasonable.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        All mouth and no trousers

  • http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/ Justathought

    Attacking energy installations has been an Al Qaeda strategy for some years so questions must be ask why was such a significant installation not able to raise the alarm and protect its workers.

    The wider issue remains that despite spending billions on renewable energy in the UK we are still dependent of fossil fuels from abroad. The UK has huge untapped natural resources including shale. If we paid as much attention to our energy supply as Al Qaeda does we would be better off.

    Oil has been trading at well over $100 since the Arab spring and the additional cost to us is being used to hose down their people with our extra contributions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      My neighbours’ solar panels look lovely in the snow

      • Daniel Maris

        Solar panels should be doing well in high pressure cold.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          What? With insolation levels going off a cliff in Winter?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Don’t confuse the lad with big words.

      • http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/ Justathought

        Without a taxpayer subsidy and feed-in tariff would they look so attractive?

        We are paying $111 per barrel of imported oil when the EU is at stall-speed, so expect prices to go up…permanently…until we become net exporters of fuel.

    • Dimoto

      What makes you think that Algerian gas is used in the UK ?
      JAT

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        It does not need to be but prices in Italy spiked during this event so presumably market forces would see gas diverted from elsewhere to Italy tightening supply constraints across Europe. Britain tends to use gas from Qatar but gas prices spot increased 4.4% for UK

        • Dimoto

          I suggest you reread Justathought’s post – carefully.
          He was talking about security of supply.
          We don’t buy gas on (speculators playground) spot prices.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            Funny that Dimoto because when Norway had problems delivering in Nov 2012 “Power prices reacted to stronger spot gas, with prices for
            baseload (24 hours) delivery the next day up 4.50 pounds per megawatt-hour (MWh) to 52.25 pounds a MWh.” Reuters reported Nov 2, 2012 ..
            “UK spot gas prices rise on undersupplied system” and that British generators were short 10.4 million m3/day

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            “Thanks to its size, the UK gas market is the benchmark for most of the gas traded across Europe, with prices at major European hubs usually following the daily lead of the UK market. And a number of big long-term contracts for the UK with Russia and Norway have been “100% spot-linked”, meaning geared to index price, according to market
            sources.

            Norway’s Statoil gave a clear indication in June that it
            expected to sign more spot price-linked deals with the UK as North Sea reserves decline.”………….

      • http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/ Justathought

        Our intervention signals to me that the plant is of significant importance and that it is in our national interest to support the Algerian government fight Al Qaeda.

    • chan chan

      “questions must be asked why was such a significant installation not able to raise the alarm and protect its workers.”
      Indeed.

      I heard an ex-engineer from the plant saying that “there is a military barracks attached to the plant with hundreds of soldiers”

      where were they?

      • http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/ Justathought

        Some of them are probably working for Al Qaeda !

    • Daniel Maris

      It’s because we have an unimaginative government who are NOT spending the necessary billions on renewables. Don’t believe the “billions of pounds” of green energy investment propaganda. The latest “Green Deal” initiative is almost designed to fail – people won’t take up the loans for very good reasons.

      We should be investing in this sort of British technology which will make wind energy a wholly reliable energy source:

      *ttp://www.highview-power.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Into-thin-air-Storage-salvation-for-green-energy-02-January-2013-New-Scientist.pdf

      If we got that right we would have deep penetration into a world market worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It would pay for every wind turbine and solar panel in the country. And what is the government doing? Throwing peanuts at the project.

      • http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/ Justathought

        I’m sorry but I’ve heard all this before. The billions already spent by Labour mostly went to pay for high skill, high paid jobs, for German manufactured wind turbines.

    • Minekiller

      Shale and nuclear. UKs energy and or ME problems pretty much sorted. The green fascists can live in the Saheal with loads of solar baed energy among the Islamofascists of the religion of peace. Win win all round.

  • Chris lancashire

    Before all the rabid anti-Cameron, anti-Coalition critics get really going what is said above is eminently reasonable. Nothing above suggests that the UK sees itself as the world’s policeman (thank goodness) and Cameron has avoided the worst of Blair’s mistakes. That said, whilst there should be a reasoned long term response to mad jihadis we also need to avoid getting embroiled and bogged down in any future Iraq/Afghanistan situations.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Mali has 6000 soldiers and with that they staged a coup in 2012. The US has had US Special Forces there for years – in fact 3 Commandos were killed recently cavorting with Moroccan prostitutes – but France puts in 2500 troops to give Malians individual tuition

    • Dimoto

      Wrong.
      Exactly like Blair, Cameron and Hague have been captured by the (lurid tales) of the security establishment, who saw a great opportunity to increase budget.
      Who sexed up the dossier this time ?

      • Chris lancashire

        What dossier??

        • Dimoto

          There is always a “dossier”, that’s what JIC do.

          • Chris lancashire

            Oh, right, good, thanks.
            Er, what’s in it?

  • Hexhamgeezer

    ‘Decades long response’ Typical evasive dhimmi cop-out. Decades of what? I suspect decades of Aid producing better fed and more mobile Islamic Jihad.
    .

    • chan chan

      quite…and speaking of dhimmi cop-outs, how about the 1400 year long response so far?

    • HooksLaw

      typical childish gibberish

      • Hexhamgeezer

        I can see your bottom lip quivering from here.

  • In2minds

    “the world’s policemen” – the heart sinks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      To Wage War Aganist Homophobia globally…….the Met goes global

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, gay marriage is a noble cause, as we know. Without gay marriage, whatever will become of us all? No, our path is clear here, we must persevere through to gay marriage victory:

        You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land
        and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give
        us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the
        dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask,
        what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all
        costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard
        the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

  • Colin

    “But in the case of military power, he said, France had already suppled that, and in any case that power ‘must come from African countries in order to resolve these problems’.”

    I’m glad he cleared that up. Given the accountant led cull of the professional armed forces and the wastage rate (>90%) in TA recruitment; we have no choice but to leave the military stuff to others.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      French use a Foreign Legion to do real fighting however

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