Coffee House

What are David Cameron’s plans for the fight against Isis?

17 August 2014

3:01 PM

17 August 2014

3:01 PM

David Cameron warns today that Britain must act against Isis in order to prevent terrorist attacks on this country. But what does he actually intend to do? In his article in the Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister argues that a ‘broader political, diplomatic and security response’ is needed, but also says that ‘we should avoid sending armies to fight or occupy’.

He writes:

‘Britain – our economy, our security, our future – must come first. After a deep and damaging recession, and our involvement in long and difficult conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is hardly surprising that so many people say to me when seeing the tragedies unfolding on their television screens: “Yes, let’s help with aid, but let’s not get any more involved.”

‘I agree that we should avoid sending armies to fight or occupy. But we need to recognise that the brighter future we long for requires a long-term plan for our security as well as for our economy. True security will only be achieved if we use all our resources – aid, diplomacy, our military prowess – to help bring about a more stable world. Today, when every nation is so immediately interconnected, we cannot turn a blind eye and assume that there will not be a cost for us if we do.’


So is he saying this country needs to do more militarily to combat Isis, or not?

He doesn’t specifically say that more needs to be done militarily, and interestingly when he lists ‘all our resources’, ‘military prowess’ comes last after aid and diplomacy. But Downing Street has already said the government is prepared to arm the Kurds, and the government could also look at co-operating with other groups over intelligence. Stepping up the fight without any boots on the ground could also include opportunities to advise local forces through special envoy roles and others.

Rather than making specific commitments, what the Prime Minister is really trying to do is make the case, and prepare the political ground, for the time when he does need to announce plans for more aid drops, or arming a group fighting Isis. He may not find in the coming months that he has habitually dovish types continually calling for further action, as we’ve seen over the past few weeks. He will also be aware of polls suggesting that voters are not automatically against Britain becoming further embroiled in the fight against Isis. This could be the beginning of a campaign by Cameron to ready his parliamentary colleagues and the public for that fight. This is one of the things that he failed to do before recalling Parliament over Syria, and on this at least, the Prime Minister seems to have learned his lesson.

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Show comments
  • John Gerard

    Put it this way: IT’S ON, LIKE DONKEY KONG!

  • Terence Hale

    “What are David Cameron’s plans“. The Kurds are a key factor, Mr Cameron should arm them.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Judge him by his actions. like banning Robert Spencer.

  • Damaris Tighe

    I’ve just read in the Mail that the Taliban made Afghan Sikhs wear yellow tags. This if nothing else should tell us that we’re facing a revival of Nazism or, more accurately, the revival of the ideology from which Hitler drew inspiration.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    Also, when a P.M talks about “all our resources” are we to assume he will in turn kindly act like the elected head of the public services once more, instead of some executive CEO type? I think it’s important to let the public know what ” all our resources” might mean – lest we end up with police looking and acting like soldiers in the lives of ordinary people who have done nothing wrong.

    Mr.Blair P.M famously seemed to step down from ever needing to consider this position (publicly anyway)- and without proper supervision.

    • SimonToo

      “The elected head of the public services “. Interesting thought.

  • SimonToo

    Do not panic Mr. Cameron ! If we can persuade these ISIS chappies to hang on a bit, well for a few years, then HMS White and HMS Elephant will be ready. One of them has already had its naming ceremony. I know it has not actually been launched, it is still dry as a bone, but it has been named. I know these ISIS chappies are in the desert, but if they want to play they will just have to come out to sea.

    If you really want to do something now, and that would be a frightfully brave decision as you know, Prime Minister, perhaps those funny people from Cambridge University could be persuaded to send Goldie against ISIS. Apparently they have won against Isis 29 times to 21.

  • lookout

    He won’t do anything, the guy’s a coward, when a sizable portion of parliament and most of the foreign office is pro Arab, due to personal oil profits and blinkered Palestinian support how can you have a policy that has a chance of being the right one with so many factors,?

  • Augustus

    Plans for the fight against ISis? People like Cameron haven’t the character or the wisdom to engage IS with sufficient force to destroy it. There are more than 30,000 terrorists operating there throughout Syria and Iraq, with vast IS held swathes of territory. All the West can do for now is to help the Kurdish fighters defend their own territory, which, if they win, will give them every right to declare themselves an independent state.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Cameron’s plans.

    He could start by writing out the following 5,000 times until it’s ingrained on his brain … and then putting it into practice.

    “speak softly and carry a bit stick.”

    Once again, he’s got it wrong: We get him sounding off in the DT having crippled our Armed Forces with defence cuts, whilst squandering money on International Welfare for corrupt foreign governments.

  • Barry Obongo

    Here’s another Cameronism from his ghost-written article:

    Of course there is conflict between Shias and Sunnis, but that is the wrong way to see what is really happening. What we are witnessing is actually a battle between Islam on the one hand and extremists who want to abuse Islam on the other. These extremists, often funded by fanatics living far away from the battlefields, pervert the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their warped and barbaric ideology – and they do so not just in Iraq and Syria but right across the world, from Boko Haram and al-Shabaab to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

    Does anyone, other than the entire political establishment and their minions that is, believe that the literally hundreds of Islamic terrorist groups around the world and their millions of supporters want to ‘abuse Islam’ or ‘pervert the Islamic faith’?

    Apparently, IS, Boko Haram etc. are just a bunch of Islamophobes…if only they’dve shown as much respect for the Religion of Peace™ as Stephen Timms MP did (and continues to do in seeking the Sylheti Miah-ocracy remains solidly Labour)…

    • Damaris Tighe

      David ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ Cameron still hasn’t learned has he.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    But sometimes there’s nothing to turn a blind eye upon. It’s a bit rich pretending that nothing costs something.

  • Baron

    The boy’s plans for the fight against ISIS in full: Yap, yap, yap.

  • Mynydd

    Yet again from Mr Cameron, a lot of words that say nothing.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Labour Troll. Please ignore.

      • Mynydd

        So tell us what is he saying, or do you ignore him.

  • whs1954

    Christ, polls polls polls.

    We need to get over the ludicrous hang ups of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – these are still ongoing, and fewer British servicemen have died in these two wars, 11 years after they started, than died in the first half hour of the Battle of the Somme.

    We need to realise we are the world’s policemen, whether we like it or not, and go in and root out this Islamist menace, regardless of whether fascists like Seumas Milne or the Stop the War Coalition (who are not in fact in favour of war stopping, just for the most evil side to win) like it or not.

    The PM needs to stop relying on polls and start believing in what is right, not what is popular.

    • Conway

      But Dave doesn’t have firm beliefs about what is right, only what is best for himself and thus he relies on polls to tell him what will be popular (to get him re-elected).

  • Damaris Tighe

    It was reported on Sky that Cameron is scared of having his fingers burned a second time after last years’s Commons defeat over intervention in Syria. So, because Cameron was prevented from siding with the genocidal ISIS he is now frightened to propose siding against ISIS. It seems that everyone can see the difference but Cameron himself. How can a politician be so cut off from (1) the obvious & (2) public opinion? How can a politician repeatedly get it so wrong?

    • Alexsandr

      OK he was wrong last year about the syrian rebels. But it would be wrong to get involved with ISIS or whatever they call themselves this week. Alliances in the mid east are like shifting sands, you can support the ‘good guys’ this week and then find you were helping the good guys next week.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Because as Cameron correctly pointed out, if ISIS isn’t stopped it will soon be on the Mediterranean & facing a NATO member. It’s no longer a local problem.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          They’re already facing a NATO member, and that NATO member is supporting them. That NATO member is very likely being joined by at least 3 other NATO members, in supporting ISIS in Syria.

    • Ordinaryman

      I’m trying very,very hard not to be cynical and look upon Cameron as a parrot trained, cardboard cutout full of soundbites with no grasp of what is happening in the real world —– but! I’m losing the battle.

      • Damaris Tighe

        I lost it a long time ago!

  • Curnonsky

    This is what happens when you knife your regional allies in the back and you are left with no alternative but to act alone. This is the legacy of the “Arab Spring” – now nobody trusts Britain, America or Europe, friend or foe.

    An intelligent foreign policy works through allies and allies-of-convenience in regions like the Middle East, nations with whom we have much in common (Israel) and nations who are frankly repellent but who share common interests (Saudi Arabia). Cameron is a dunce if he cannot see his priority must be to restore relations with them, with Egypt, even with Assad, rather than pointless gestures of humanitarian relief that only inflame matters.

  • HookesLaw

    Well done Ms Hardman – Cue more racist comments on the Spectator website. Clearly the graph that you keep has been dipping of late.

    • Holly

      You forgot to mention the ‘racist’ demonstrators wrecking a Tesco store, or that Sainsbury’s had taken Israeli products off their shelves for fear of…erm…
      racist demonstrators coming in and pushing the stock off the shelves.
      In the Tesco indecent ONE arrested for hitting an officer, and TWO escorted off the premises. That showed ’em eh!
      A Labor bod, on camera boasting how the demonstrators outside a Birmingham Sainsbury’s store had forced the store to close, losing about four hours of trading.
      Do the public know who their enemies are?

  • Blindsideflanker

    Well first it was don’t let a bit of genocide of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq interrupt my holiday and trip to a Portuguese fish market.

  • MrLouKnee

    Cameron will deal with IS by allowing more muslim immigration from the 3rd world into the UKand handing over the keys to the country to Anjem Choudary.

    • foxoles

      God, don’t give him any more ideas.

  • In2minds

    Plans, what plans?

    • saffrin

      Wander along the beach I think with a hankey knotted on his head.
      Shirt off, pale, fat and greasy with a wife looking very embarrassed.

  • saffrin

    As we now know the chemical weapons used in Syria were stored in an area under ISIS control, what guarantees can Cameron offer to convince us weapons of mass destruction are not being stored ready for use in Luton, Bradford or any one of the other Islamist breeding grounds in Great Britain?

  • Paul Weston

    Cameron is powerless about this for a couple of reasons. First, he believes ISIS is a perversion of Islam, just as were the Lee Rigby beheaders. If Cameron cannot accept reality just because the reality of Islam goes against the grain of his PC mindset, then we are in trouble. Secondly, Cameron needs to toady up to Islam in Britain in order to maybe, possibly, get their vote. This makes it impossible to identify the danger here, which is not some strange perversion of Islam as he would like to think, but the core tenets of Islam itself.

    So, he is utterly useless in other words.

  • saffrin

    I think supplying the Kurds with arms is a good idea. When ISIS has run out of things to shoot the Kurds can kick off in their place.
    If the west didn’t keep handing out weapons to these religious nutjobs they’d have fk-all to do all day but prey.

    • Alexsandr

      we could cut off the cash. Start fracking to reduce demand for ME oil. Check out on cash leaving GB that is going to terrorists, especially from the charity sector. Make sure any assets terrorists have are properly sequestered.

  • Barry Obongo

    Allow me to translate:

    ‘Britain – our economy, our security, our future – must come first.

    Me, my clique and personal enrichment must come first.

    After a deep and damaging recession

    After a prolonged bout of banker-land hoarder-induced economic contraction, house prices are again becoming inaccessible (1:7, av. incme:hse prce) for all but the most deserving.

    and our involvement in long and difficult conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

    And the humiliating retreat and defeat of our once-proud armed forces in Ayatollah-controlled southern Iraq and the Pakistani client state of Afghanistan

    it is hardly surprising that so many people say to me when seeing the tragedies unfolding on their television screens: “Yes, let’s help with aid, but
    let’s not get any more involved.”

    It is hardly surprising that so many people don’t even know my name when continuing to ignore the cause celebre du jour micturated over the unsuspecting few who continue to imbibe MSM cant. Why, just last year, I caught sight of some plebs complaining about bribes for corrupt anti-British people whose compatriots are colonising SE England.

    ‘I agree that we should avoid sending armies to fight or occupy.

    I agree that inviting the Deobandi movement and its analogues the not-quite-so-evil Barelvi movement, Tabligh-e Jamaat, Jamaat-e Islami, Ahl-e Hadith, Muslim Brotherhood and its subsidiaries etc. to build mosques, Islamic centres and run schools is akin to resurrecting the German volkisch movement and holding a Nazi-Factor competition for a new Adolf Hitler.

    But we need to recognise that the brighter future we long for requires a
    long-term plan for our security as well as for our economy.

    But the plebs need to realise that the socially cohesive and mostly racially homogeneous Britain of the past is over and that, for a brighter future for me and my uber-sophisticated pals, the process of electing a new people must continue.

    True security will only be achieved if we use all our resources – aid,
    diplomacy, our military prowess – to help bring about a more stable

    Absolute power for corporations and oligarchs can only be achieved if me and my chums muster all our resources – wads of cash for chums overseas, further layers of bureaucracy, a surveillance state – to help bring about the sort of world where me and my homies can continue to prosper at the expense of everyone else.

    Today, when every nation is so immediately interconnected, we
    cannot turn a blind eye and assume that there will not be a cost for us
    if we do.’

    Today, when people have little or no power to decide their own futures, Nick, Ed, Nigel and I must continue to maintain the facade of democracy and the theatrics of party squabbling until the nation state is effectively dead and only the correct sort of people, together with enormous bank accounts and sense of self-importance, shorn of the expensive welfare state and the inconvenient trappings of a democracy, can rule over Europe as neo-Platonic philosopher-corporatists beholden to no pleb. We cannot allow this process to be slowed or halted by the worthless untermenschen we must continue to indulge until it’s too late.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …it’s been a long while since I’ve stumbled across someone more cynical than myself. My compliments!

  • @PhilKean1

    Yes, I understand he wants to pay countries which still manufacture small and man-portable weapons to supply them to the Kurds.

    In the meantime, he can keep spraying millions of pounds of UK taxpayers’ money around so that OTHER countries can manufacture the emergency equipment and produce the food that will go to help people suffering persecution and hardship.

    Seriously, what a farce. £12 billion allocated to the Foreign Aid budget that could be spent in Britain producing the vital emergency supplies currently being furnished by our competitors.

  • English Majority

    Just remember: Cameron, the government and the entire political class are so illiterate, so dangerously unaware of reality that they were an inch away from arming ISIS against Assad.

    Also, Cameron says: “Today, when every nation is so immediately interconnected, we cannot turn a blind eye and assume that there will not be a cost for us if we do.”.

    TRANSLATION: “Today, due to the fact all White nations have been colonised by Third World immigrant hordes who largely support ISIS, this will affect us.”.

    • Conway

      I’m an actual English person and I don’t want IS bombed at all. I want us to keep out of foreign wars and deal with the enemy within.

      • English Majority

        Its the same war…..

  • Kitty MLB

    ‘Britain, our economy, our security our future must come first’
    Indeed but the damage has already been done by the last governments rampage.
    Closer relationship with the EU have damaged our economy, the
    Iraq war damaged our security..especially inviting those who would send us to oblivion to live in our country.
    And our future…deal with those who threaten us here as well
    as the middle east…but the West must deal with the islamic terrorist state that is growing.
    And we must defend Christians and Jews whose lives are under threat.

  • Colonel Mustard

    “Britain – our economy, our security, our future – must come first.”

    This from a representative of the politicians who have given up our sovereignty to a foreign parliament, opened up our borders, undermined our Common Law, divided our nation into competing identity groups, not least letting the genie of devolution out of the bottle that now threatens the very existence of the UK, and who have put giving money away in foreign aid as a higher priority to defence.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Cameron talks of our security being compromised by what is taking place in Iraq and Syria, but that is only because of the British Establishments insane mass immigration and multiculturalism that has imported the worlds trouble spots to our door steps.

      Countries come about by peoples with common values and cultures coming together for collective security. The British Establishment have unpicked that collective security, requiring us to militarily involve ourselves in the wars around the world lest we blow back on our cities and towns.

      Thanks a lot you prize idiots!

    • fathomwest

      Well said Col. Mustard. He also skipped the vexed question many of us have raised, What is he going to do with those with British Passports who are fighting alongside these fanatics? Are they going to be allowed to just walk back into our beloved country?
      I have said before, but will repeat it. Only when a Honourable Member, or establishment figure, meet their death on the streets at the hands of these people will anything be done.
      Bliar has a lot to answer for.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Yes it is a question I asked the other day. There seems to be a fog of indifference about it, where no one in the Establishment wants to or is bothering to confront the issue It was established that these Jihadists, in joining an irregular military force have contravened the law, but it seems the Establishment just don’t want to apply the law, even when it against people who have joined a religious fascist organisation that is indulging in genocide.

        When it comes down to it they are more worried about offending the religion of peace than looking after our security.

        • Andy

          I suggest we leave them to the Iraqis and their hangman. And let us hope he calculates the drops correctly. Death to ISIS.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        In answer to your question: welcome them quietly back into Britain. It is vital that we don’t cause any offence after all.

    • West Point

      So what’s UKIP’s policy on devolution?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Ask UKIP.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, since you asked, UKIP thinks the LibLabCon clones are devolving as we speak.

  • davebush999

    Why pay any attention to do-nothing Dave’s utterances? He does nothing without US approval.

  • Katabasis

    No mention of the fact that, had Cameron et al, got their way last year with Syria, then ISIS would be even stronger now thanks to Assad being even weaker or deposed and many of the people now in ISIS in possession of even more Western arms and money?

    • cambridgeelephant

      Exactly !

      Not only does Cameron not know who his friends are at home. He has no idea who his enemies are abroad.

      • Kitty MLB

        It speaks volumes about a person that when half the
        world are under threat from the other half , that all they
        can do is partake in cheap political point scoring,
        ‘ give me loads of up ticks because I criticized Cameron’. Tell me what would UKIP do if the charming
        Nigel Farage were in charge.

        • cambridgeelephant

          But he isn’t and Cameron is – or at least is supposed to be. You are on the stupid side of thick if you don’t get that.

          Kata’s point is right on the money and you don’t have to love Assad, to see that he’s the least worst alternative. Unless you really welcome a country being taken over by mentalists who think it fine to let their children play with severed heads.And then fix on yours for next weeks toy option.

          At home Cameron has alienated his own base and as a news item in the Telegraph shows, lost swathes of his own parties membership through his rank incompetence – doubtless urged on by people like you.

          Abroad he’s all over the shop with the EU, cowering before it one minute and adopting it’s more lunatic idea the next. He gives little idea of believing in anything or having any strategy beyond keeping his own carcass in Downing Street.

          He has even got the guts to face down Salmond. Do you seriously think that Churchill or Thatcher of even Harold Wilson would have relied on an opposition backbencher – Darling – to put the case to save the Union in similar circumstances ?

          He needs and deserves more than a few adverse ‘ticks’.

          • A.K.

            Both sides in Syria are awful.

        • foxoles

          Well, Farage called it right last year, when Cameron was all gung-ho to go in to Syria to support the people he now wants to bomb.

          Nigel Farage explains why we must resist striking Syria (on the eve of the parliamentary vote that made bloodthirsty Cameron sulk because he wasn’t given carte blanche)

          I think you could put more faith in his judgement than Cameron’s.

          • Kitty MLB

            Well thank you for your polite response and
            answering a question unlike the hairy mammoth above. I never approved of Syria .
            We have lost enough lives in Iraq and we need to deal with the Islamic threat in the UK but
            we need to deal with Islam in general.
            And by the way, I am a admirer of Nigel Farage,
            I also hope he replaces worthless labour at some point, the working classes, have no party
            who represents them.

          • Mynydd

            Well, Labour, Lib Dems, and back bench Conservative MPs called it right last year, and their vote stopped Mr Cameron. Well, like Mr Farage the man at the end of the bar, in my local, called it right last year, but it was just talk because he was not a MP therefore had no Vote.

            • foxoles

              Does the man at the end of your bar lead a national party which just won a national election?

              • Mynydd

                You are a national party when; you control councils across the country and have MPs from across the country. One would hardly call the Greens a national party yet they have an MP and control a few councils. By the way the last poll I saw their percentage was 11 and falling.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Actually, the man at the end of the bar was the one who put down Cameron. Your Millipedal heroes were poised to go bombs away in Syria, just as they’d voted to go bombs away in Libya, their previous glorious adventure.

              • Mynydd

                How come UKIP put down Cameron, when only votes in the HoC can do that.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The votes in the HoC were influenced by UKIP, particularly your Millipedal heroes, who had voted up the previous Libyan adventure, as mentioned.

        • Katabasis

          The only thing “speaking volumes” here is your own projection, Kitty.

          The potential interventions being considered now could end up being the diametric opposite of what we were being cajoled to commit to last year.

          That single fact alone raises significant issues regarding the judgement and level of real awareness of events on the ground that our politicians and media have.

          Only a dedicated and completely tribal partisan would not be concerned by this, especially given that Dear Leader apparently does not seem to express the slightest amount of contrition regarding just how badly wrong he could have got this last year.

        • Holly

          Close the UK door to countries, where the inhabitants cause all manner of problems once they get here.
          Boot out those who have committed a crime/ plan to do us harm.
          Stop those who are off beheading people from re-entering.
          Stop the foreign aid….
          But first and foremost get us out of the ties that bind…
          Having seen how they operate, I reckon IS don’t do diplomacy.

      • Kitty MLB

        Nigel Farage will be an MP next year..and will have to
        vote on such issues as these in the HOC. So I’d
        quite seriously like to know what he’d do .
        But with no mention of Cameron or Miliband please.

      • whs1954

        I loathe to break it to ignorant idiots who have such a black and white view of the world, but Assad is just as much the enemy of decent, western democratic values as ISIS is. We have no business strengthening Assad; we, and the Americans, should go in and do what we did in Iraq; clear out all the fascists, Assad, ISIS, the lot, and install a decent government, and if that is weak we should run it as a colony until a westernized government can be installed.

        Our values are right, their values are wrong, should be a a workable motto for occupying forces.

        • cambridgeelephant

          “Our values are right, their values are wrong, should be a a workable motto for occupying forces.”

          It should be. Now had far has it got us in Iraq and Afghanistan ?

        • disqus_JXTaH3N9kU

          Your first sentence makes sense, as do the first six words of the second. The rest drifts off into fantasy.

        • girondas2

          I like a bit of sarcasm in the morning – sets me up for the day

      • Conway

        Nor who his enemies are at home, either.