Thursday, November 26, 2015

From invading Iraq to defending it

David Cameron in the House of Commons today spelling out something that got obscured in recent White House statements about ISIS --

The main basis of the global coalition’s actions against ISIL in Syria is the collective self-defence of Iraq. Iraq has a legitimate Government—one that we support and help. There is a solid basis of evidence on which to conclude, first, that there is a direct link between the presence and activities of ISIL in Syria and its ongoing attack on Iraq, and secondly, that the Assad regime is unwilling and/or unable to take action necessary to prevent ISIL’s continuing attack on Iraq, or indeed attacks on us.

He does go on to present an ancillary self-defence rationale, but that's limited by proportionality -- a small number of plots against European countries don't justify a large scale assault. Responsibility to Protect has ended up being seen as a dodgy doctrine, because the outcomes have been so meagre, but is a more traditional legal doctrine based on defending a weak and perhaps failing state from external non-state attack leading to any better decisions?

No comments: