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David Cameron redoubles his commitment to interventionism

21 January 2013

David Cameron’s Commons statement on Algeria just now was the most interventionist speech he has made since the one he delivered at the Foreign Policy Centre during his 2005 leadership bid. But this speech is far more important than that one because it is what he actually believes; the 2005 speech was written by Michael Gove and was given more to tick the leadership contest’s foreign policy box than anything else.

Listening to Cameron today, it is clear that the events of recent days have led him to redouble his commitment to interventionism. Indeed, in his talk of the ‘generational challenge’ and the need to ‘beat them [the terrorists] militarily’ one could hear echoes of Blair and Bush post 9/11.

Most striking, though, was Cameron’s rejection of the idea of containing the terrorist threat. In response to a question from the Tory MP Julian Lewis pushing the merits of containment as a strategy, Cameron argued that this country’s aim was ‘not containment but trying over time to completely overcome them’.

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  • Roy

    What is Mr Cameron going to intervene with? He has no control of his own borders, how can he control distant ones of other nations?

  • HooksLaw

    Mr Forsyth – you seem determined to stoke the increasingly racist tendencies of your readership.
    I can only conclude it is deliberate.

    Vouchsafing not to give in to terrorism and warning that it will take a long time to defeat it hardly classes as ‘interventionism’. Words like ‘patient, intelligent but tough approach’ does not blaze out ‘interventionism’.
    The desperate way the Spectator is intent on getting this emotive hare to run is scandalous.

    Pointedly Cameron said in his statement, ‘we increased our investment in our Special Forces, Cyber Security, and key intelligence capabilities while also increasing our investment in fragile and broken states.’
    Large parts of the world need support, not military intervention.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, to disagree with the Camerloons is obviously racist.

    • Dimoto

      Cameron does seem to wear the impression of the last person who sat on him (refer: ecofreaks), and he has just had a meeting of COBRA.

  • David Lindsay

    Time for the John Baron Leadership Challenge, then.

  • Colonel Mustard

    To beat someone militarily, Mr Cameron, you need a military. And not just any old military – but a powerful, effective military with effective leadership and the winning strategy. You seem to have fallen at the first hurdle since you appear to prefer a huge, inefficient, bullying and prying state and to cut the military to pay for it. Do you do joined up thinking?

    • Bluesman

      Steady Citizen Colonel Mustard the dreaded creature Hookslaw will be calling you names.

    • Noa

      Peter Hitchens has written a thoughtful, and thought provoking, evaluation of the Mali intervention and its topical Orwellian similarities in his blog.

    • Patrick

      And how about paying for it from the DFID budget? Dave, you can’t have your cake and eat it.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Vanity projects r’ Us

    • David Lindsay


      Because there is so much money for them, isn’t there?

  • alabenn

    not containment but trying overtime to completely overcome them’

    Great idea, when do the tanks roll into Oldham, Bradford and Leicester.

  • Swiss Bob

    Perhaps he should start at home and cease importing them into Britain?

    Another NWO stooge who loves a little war, as long as none of his friends or relatives are involved.

    Think on this. More Vietnam vets have committed suicide than were killed in the Vietnam war.

    Work out how many soldiers from the British Army are under an effective death sentence from their time served in that farce of the ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Careful there, big guy.

      You’re making a valid point, but using false data to make it:

      • Swiss Bob

        That was from 1991.

        I can cite numerous articles but having done further research it is debatable exactly how many, it is still very high.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, but that CDC report is trustworthy, and described the rate, and unless that rate has suddenly increased by a factor of 10 or more in the years since 1991, then the “more dead by suicide” meme doesn’t hold.

          It’s still a valid point, and the rate of suicide is still far too high, even if it isn’t as high as in the meme. And we’d have to assume a similar rate or worse for the Iraq/Afghanistan vets.

  • Noa

    ‘Overcoming them’, should begin at home.

  • In2minds


    • David Lindsay

      Even worse.

      And up to now, I should have been the first to have said that that was physically impossible.

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