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David Cameron visits Algeria for talks on ‘generational struggle’

30 January 2013

The Prime Minister is visiting Algeria today to pay his respects to the victims of the hostage crisis. He will also hold talks with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, and The Sun reports that he will ask Sellal’s permission for MI6 to hunt down the attack’s mastermind, Mokhtar Belmokhtar. This will mark the next move in the ‘generational struggle’ he described in his Commons statement.

One of the first big steps in this struggle took place yesterday, with Downing Street confirming the deployment of more than 330 troops to North Africa to help the French action in Mali. None of those troops will be in combat roles, with the majority training forces in neighbouring countries. There was some unease about this announcement, though, as previously Downing Street had insisted Britain’s support role would be ‘in the tens, not the hundreds’.

This expansion had clearly unnerved MPs, who questioned Philip Hammond yesterday on the dangers of mission creep when he answered an urgent question from Tory backbencher John Baron. He rejected claims that this conflict could resemble Vietnam or Afghanistan. But it’s worth reading Con Coughlin’s warning on his blog about the dangers of France quickly declaring its Malian mission has been a success and then withdrawing, when the Islamists have simply retreated to the desert. France and Britain may not want to be in it for the long haul, but MPs will become increasingly agitated if the situation ends up drawing both countries in deeper.

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Show comments

    People should get things into proportion. About 420 killed in Afghanistan. In WW1 life expectancy of officer on W Front was SIX WEEKS.

    • Tom Tom

      Yes and 60,000 casualties on the first day of The Somme but so what ? It is a question of why lives are lost and lack of body armour, poor kit, poor coordination are not good reasons, nor is John Reid sending British troops to Helmand saying they would not be firing a shot…….and now 4 MILLION rounds later….

  • telemaque

    Cameron like Blair is seeking war glory as an antidote to his failure to lead effectively his troops

  • HooksLaw

    ‘with the majority training forces in neighbouring countries’ … well well, congratulations for once Ms Hardman.
    To listen to the media and the howlers at the moon they so cosily generate, you would think all these troops were being committed to Mali.

    As for ‘generational struggle’. Such is life. Such is our world. This world may not be much but its the only world we have got.

    Speak it softly but there will probably be another generational struggle after this one. This is the world we live in and we have to work at it endlessly to make it work as best we can.
    One thing is for sure, if we do nothing, and simply surrender to the woes of the world, then that world will only get worse than ever and will come back and give us an almighty bite in our vitals.

  • Noa

    It’s about time that the fatuous term ‘Generational Struggle’, was rigorously defined rather than being allowed to remain as a wuzzy generalisation.

    Is he coyly alluding, like a blushing bride, to the 1,100 year struggle between between the civilized West and the encroaching forces of Islam?

    Or is he merely referring to a new BBC TV reality game show?

    On initial consideration it rather appears to be the latter.

    • Tom Tom

      He means “War on the Infidel” but cannot say it

      • telemachus

        We should not have to struggle
        If we extend the hand of friendship in Smethwick we will be rewarded in the world at large

      • DzFox


  • The Elderking

    A generational struggle that threatens the security of Europe AND no British boots on the ground. Come off it. We need to get in there and wipe these creatures out not pussyfoot about. The only way to rid us of Islamism is to crush it, not accommodate or bribe them.

    Only by either killing them or having them thoroughly cowed can we hope to rid ourselves of this vile fascist cult. The few sensible Muslim nations know this. Looking at Syria now we see executions, racial and religious persecution, mass exodus of people and minorities. Before, Syria was largely secular and minorities could exist without fear. Now they are fleeing and dying. The British Govt has their blood on it’s hands.

    The Western Governments have taken the lid off a bunch of Islamist nut jobs in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Gaza etc. Now we are going to be reaping the “reward”.

    You couldn’t make it up.

    • HooksLaw

      Its the Syrian ba’athists who are the fascists. Its ‘Asadism’ and its cult of personality which has blood on its hands.

      • The Elderking

        At least under Assad each community was safe.

        Now just look at what is happening to minorities in Syria now.

        The 2000 yr old Christian community would not agree with you. They are being murdered, persecuted and driven out as I type this. Now….

        All we have done is cause the deaths of thousands and it will result in a worse tyranny that that we claim to be toppling. Just look at Egypt. Iraq. Libya.

        There has to be a better way that just trashing the joint with murderers and thugs.

  • Tom Tom

    We helped the French at Suez. We helped the French by honoring THEIR 1925 Treaty with Czechoslovakia and THEIR 1921 Treaty with Poland. We had none. What is it about France that ever since Edward VII showed his loathing for his nephew Kaiser Wilhelm and disdain for his mother through his party-boy background in Paris by generating the Entente Cordiale locking Britain into French clutches after 800 years of freedom…….and so it continues war without end

    • HooksLaw

      Absurd misreading of history. The King drove pre ww1 foreign policy did he?
      There was me thinking that the kaiser sacking Bismark, ambitious for an empire and massively expanding his navy had something to do with it.
      Again you show us how idiotic you are.

      • Tom Tom

        You should learn some History. Edward VII DID drive Foreign Policy in 1903. The Kaiser “dropped the pilot in 1890” so why Bismarck had any effect on Britain 13 years later is your peculiar reading of history – he was dead in 1898. So go back and read about Edward VII and HIS foreign policy – do pick a book without illustrations – a serious one like people with some education would read……Biography perhaps ?

    • telemaque

      and remember who supplied the Argentinians with Super Etendards

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