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David Cameron: Terrorism in North Africa requires global response

20 January 2013

In his latest statement on the Algerian hostage crisis this morning, the Prime Minister built on the interventionist language that James spotted in his Commons address on Friday. Cameron said:

‘This is a global threat and it will require a global response; it will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months, and it requires a response that is patient, that is painstaking, that is tough but also intelligent, but above all has an absolutely iron resolve and that is what we deliver over these coming years.’


Meanwhile, when he appeared on the Andrew Marr Show, William Hague avoided ruling out UK military involvement in North Africa. But on Murnaghan, Lord Stirrup argued that ‘boots on the ground’ could do more harm than good.

As Fraser wrote in his blog on Mali last weekend, Cameron has a strong belief in the British military acting as a force for good in the world. The coming weeks could well reveal what his plans are for this force for good in the region.  They could also bring to the fore another divide in the Conservative party which was evident in the Libya intervention: that between the neo-cons and the anti-interventionists.

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  • Adrian

    Nowt to do with us Komrad Kameronski.

  • barbie

    If Mali needs militry intervention, then let the European Union gather their forces to do it, we’ve done enough. Cameron does not have a mandate for all these interventions. They put our armed forces into these situations and when things go wrong, our soldiers are taken to court. These Islamists places are not really our place to be. They have a different way of doing things. The recent killings are a sad reflection on what fanatical Muslims can do, it will get worse as time goes on. What we must do is show heavy response to this sort of behaviour. Most of all, the countries like Mali, who are poor, and cannot deal with this onslaught alone, we must offer financial help. Instead of paying aid to India and Pakistan we should divert money to them. The new president of the USA will offer on help, as a Muslim himself he’s a danger more to the West than any tinpot militant. For a start he does not like the UK, so we should be prepared for more comments and rebukes from this man. Not that it will matter one jot, his time is limited.

    • Dimoto

      I see the good old Germans are already dragging their feet.

  • Austin Barry

    Obama’s foreign policy is that he hasn’t got one – well, apart from ‘leading from behind’ – a kind of catamite credo.

    Which means, I suspect, that Islam will continue to move forward to the Stone Age.

    As Mark Steyn says, we may not be interested in Islam but it sure is interested in us.

    • eeore

      What by banning abortion, measuring military success in death count, parodying social issues, and class conflicts?

  • Noa

    “…an absolutely iron resolve and that is what we deliver over these coming years.’

    And now that he has personally reduced our armed forces to our smallest and least capable since 1720, how exactly does he think we can enforce his empty words?

    Another facile cliche from the maestro of dither.

    • eeore

      The least capable since 1720?

      One squaddie with a belt felt machine gun could take on regiment of musket armed troops.

      But you are right, those sneaky 18th century ships could easily sneak up on our navy with their damned wind power, while avoiding the heat and radar seeking missiles.

  • Colonel Mustard

    A British military operating as a force for good in the world will need much treasure behind it, as canny princes who have gone to war have known for centuries.

    Cutting the military bare to the bone with dependence on reservists and then expecting it to respond globally and effectively is perhaps the most mixed of all his “messages”.

    • CharlieleChump

      Cut the forces and then ask them do more complicated stuff. Demented. Worthy of Bliar and NuLiebor

    • Tom Tom

      How many Cabinet members are TA Reservists ? Letwin ?

      • Dimoto

        Letwin, Willetts, Hughes, Cable also the doughty Fox, Vaizey and Llewelyn.
        I think we’ll need all of them.

  • In2minds

    ” an absolutely iron resolve” – Ah yes!

  • Justathought

    No amount of “iron resolve” can guarantee our energy supplies from and crossing through a growing number of countries prone to Islamic extremism. The US has secured its own shale energy supplies by iron resolve and that is where the UK needs to direct its iron resolve.

    • Patriccia Shaw

      One ofvthe snags is that the yanks now give us such as this

      When the dots are connected, the picture that emerges is not pretty: An “Islamic world” in which terrorists are regarded often with lenience, sometimes with respect, and occasionally with reverence, while minority groups face increasing intolerance, persecution, and “cleansing,” and where even their histories are erased. And we in the West are too polite, too “politically correct,” and perhaps too cowardly to say much about it.

      • Russell

        Neither the ‘press’ or the BBC (or any other news channel) will come out and say this is a religious war against all faiths except Islam.
        These terrorists want the entire world to have sharia law and follow their rules, exterminating anyone who refuses or has another or no religion.
        Stop ALL flights/travel from Moslim countries to our country and deport those who wish to follow this fanatical religion.

    • Tom Tom

      Time to buy dual-fuel stoves and move back to solid fuel

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes indeed, fire up those coal mines. Time to get busy.

        • David Lindsay

          Absolutely right.

          And promised by Ed Miliband to a hundred thousand people, plus the television cameras, last summer.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Yeah right. It’ll be a cold day in hades if the hard Left ever gives up its global warming scam.

            • David Lindsay

              The Hard Left are exactly the people least likely to subscribe to it. They are as committed to coal as they have ever been.

              The audience to which Miliband gave his commitment had been convened by the unions and distributed with free copies of the Morning Star. An advertisement for that newspaper adorned the platform, on which Tony Benn and Bob Crow were seated. Do you know anything at all about the meaning of the words that you use?

              It is true that Jimmy Goldsmith was pro-coal, and it is true that Peter Hitchens is. But is UKIP pro-coal? Is the Institute of Economic Affairs? Is the Taxpayers’ Alliance? Is Policy Exchange?

              You must be thinking of the Coalition, which massively subsidises David Cameron’s Christmas card list, but not, as historically, to employ people and thus sustain communities.

              Gordon Brown very actively preferred nuclear, while Ed Miliband and Ed Balls always publicly wanted to mix that with coal, and they are now very publicly committed to doing so, not that you are allowed to know that by this country’s cartel media.

              It is beyond idleness to use terms like “Left”, or “Right”, to mean nothing more than “whatever I personally happen to find objectionable”, or “whatever I personally happen to find agreeable”.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                There is no way in hades I’m going to wade through one of your screeds, son.

                And yes, the hard Left is in love with their global warming scam, and they will NEVER give it up.

                • David Lindsay

                  Reading age of eight. If that. Unable to cope with a mere 212 words.

                  Or is it just all the British references, which are completely lost on you? Tony Benn, Bob Crow, Jimmy Goldsmith, Peter Hitchens, the Morning Star, the Institute of Economic Affairs, Policy Exchange, even UKIP or the Taxpayers’ Alliance: “Speak English, boy,” as you yourself might tell the President of the United States if he used, well, pretty much any word at all, really.

                  The right-wing British blogosphere is subject to an astonishing level of colonisation (that is an s, not a z, which would in any case be called a zed, not a zee) by people who know absolutely nothing about Britain. Nor very much about America these days, come to that.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Whatever it is, it’s a fair piece beyond you and the other hard Left global warmingists.

                • David Lindsay

                  Point proved.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …assuming it’s the point on your head, I’d agree.

          • Dimoto

            If he promised it, it’ll never work.

        • eeore

          But that will spoil the long term plan to clean up on diamonds.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Sorry, but there is no resolve, and the iron is going into windmills.


    • eeore

      It has less to do with ‘Islamic extremism’ than the decoupling of the price of gas to the oil price, and the low price of gas. Besides the pipelines are no in place – and the wars to establish them are still being planned and fought.

      Islamic extremism is just a useful excuse to ignite those who watch television.

      • chan chan

        There is no such thing as ‘Islamic extremism’. The so-called ‘extremists’ are doing nothing extreme as far as Islam is concerned – just carrying out perfectly normal, everyday Islam as laid out in the doctrine.

        It’s just about Islam. I realise you’re trying to convince yourself otherwise, as you can’t believe it’s just about Islam, but that’s all there is to it.

        • eeore

          It appears you are the one attempting to convince yourself of something.

  • HooksLaw

    Absurd. There is nothing ‘interventionist’ is saying, ‘it will require a global response; it will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months, and it requires a response that is patient, that is painstaking, that is tough but also intelligent,’

    Just how is being ‘patient’ a signal for interventionism??

    And also ‘avoided ruling out UK military involvement’.

    ‘avoiding ruling out’ – what a load of toss parading itself as a report!

    Your pummelling of this notion is pathetic crass and typically self serving journalism. I take that back, even linking it abstractly with ‘journalism’ does the profession a disservice.

  • Samuel Pepys

    Will this Government ever be able to reflect on the fact that everything it touches turns to dust or blood.

    What has this Government got to offer any part of the world when it has abandoned the Christian civilization which made us what we were. The X-Factor generation of politicians have nothing to offer because they are empty spaces filled with self-interest and short term gain.

    We can never intervene successfully in the world unless we rediscover the civilisation that made us great.

    • HooksLaw

      Another hysteric. Judging from the pathetic nature of the article it seems The Spectator is intent on attracting them.

      • Nigel Jones

        Oh yes, everyone’s out of step except our Hookie. How easily we forget that.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Perhaps that worthy should join the LibLabCon contingent headed over to Mali, to set things right.

          That idea is sounding better and better.

        • Tom Tom

          Yes more Captain Hook from Peter Pan than anyone association with Hooke’s Law

    • barbie

      Who wants us to intervene, I don’t. We’ve done enough in the name of world freedom, fight yes when they threaten us, not until The EU is always talking about its strength as nations together, let them do more instead of leaving it to us and the USA. France is stepping up to the mark, but for how long?

  • Tom Tom

    Time to send Diversity Consultants to North Africa. It is clear that Nick Clegg should be Britain’s North African Envoy sent on a roving mission to convince these regimes of the importance of Gay Marriage to economic development and to set up local branches of the LibDEms throughout the region to press for Equalities Legislation and a Proportional Voting System. Perhaps a “Peace Corps” of Gap Year School-Leavers could be established to bring new values to old ways ?

    There is much to do Dave – and Willie Hague and Nicky Clegg are the ones to do it !

    • Gary Gimson

      Brilliant. But let’s not forget that the BBC does not even believe these people are terrorists, just militants.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Which is why we should dispatch thousands of young members of the LibLabCon to these regions where they can militantly explain that the opposition are misunderstanding !$l@m.

        Alternatively, we could of course intervene militarily as we have so successfully in Afghanistan, but by using the old Soviet model of military management in a more explicit manner. Commanders in Mali should be accompanied by political officers on the ground rather than being ideologically managed remotely from London. I’m sure that LibLabCon and fellow travellers would be only too willing volunteer to spread the word in real time on the ground about their mission. Additionally it would provide a deterrent for our forces from actually applying anything like effective force.

        Think how persuasive a personal meeting with Nick Clegg to a gathering of Tuareg would be and the multiplying effect it would have around the region.

      • chan chan

        Islamic militants = Muslim Terrorists = Pious Muslims

    • Stephen Percival

      Promoting Gay Marriage? If you think these countries/colonies are anywhere near to accepting homosexuality (never mind marriage) you are naive. You’re talking to nations that are either dictatorial (good luck with those ones) or have an extreme ecclesiastical approach to their politics i.e. no homosexuality!

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        I think you may have responded rather literally to what was, I suspect, an ironical post. I suspect TomTom simply wants to see Nick Clegg in harms way and in a manner that would both expose him to ridicule and spotlight his bleeding heart liberal hypocrisy. Apologies to Tom Tom if I am amiss in my interpretation

        • Tom Tom

          “You might very well think that; but I couldn’t possibly comment

      • Wessex Man

        Oh dear.

      • Stephen Percival

        oh, my bad…*embarrassed*

      • Noa

        And yet, ironically, anyone who has spent much time in the Maghreb and the middle east will know that homosexuality is both widespread and overt.

      • eeore

        You should get out more.

    • Dimoto

      The daftest piece of Cameron’s speech was the “decades” bit.
      That basically concedes that the “threat” will never be removed.
      What a message. Just a few thousand Tuaregs and some dregs in Algeria.

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