William Hague let the cat out of the bag on Sky News earlier, arguing that military
advisors sent to aid the rebels in Libya did not constitute ‘British boots on the ground’. He "http://www.politicshome.com/uk/article/26537/william_hague_its_not_boots_on_the_ground.html">said:
"This is an expansion of the diplomatic presence we have in Benghazi…It’s not boots on the ground. I stress it’s not training fighting forces…it is to help them organise
themselves to protect civilian life."
The reaction is fevered, with the sagacious Sir Menzies Campbell helpfully reminding everyone that Vietnam began when a
President sent military advisors. But, one braided colonel does not an invasion make. This move was to be expected: at the weekend, Cameron "http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/6875213/cameron-were-looking-at-doing-more-for-the-libyan-rebels.thtml">implied that liaison officers might be sent to assist the rebel council organise
its recalcitrant military arm. One might expect the allies to go further without actually committing; but Hague’s statement suggests that if British troops were to train rebels, that would
constitute ‘boots on the ground’. As training and mentoring, of the sort that has been used in Pakistan and Afghanistan, is apparently off limits, it’s hard to see how far the
allies can help the rebels.
One thing is for certain though: the calls for parliament to be recalled to discuss ‘regime change’ will be renewed.Tags: David Cameron, International politics, Libya, Menzies Campbell, Military, NATO, UK politics, William Hague