• UKIP Defence Spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP has today expressed deep concern over a parliamentary report calling for the UK to play a “greater role” in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria as, “a step towards UK involvement in another Middle Eastern war”.
Mike said, “I fully understand that ISIS must be tackled urgently, however, under no circumstances should the UK be blindly drawn into another ground war in Iraq or into the civil war in Syria.
“While I agree that more training and support could be given to the Peshmerga and the Iraqi security forces in tackling ISIS, I am deeply concerned that 'mission creep' is a real possibility and that what starts out as a training mission could very quickly escalate into frontline military operations. ISIS is an Islamic problem that must be dealt with by Muslims. Further direct Western involvement in the Middle East will only exacerbate the situation both at home and abroad.
“I also find it outrageous that politicians can criticise military leaders for a lack of planning in this situation. It is the military’s job to carry out the will of politicians, not make policy. It is equally outrageous for politicians to criticise the military for a lack of local understanding. Under the recent defence cuts, this Government handed P45s to many mid-service personnel who understood the local situation well. This is simply a problem of the politicians' own making.”
The report, published by the Commons Defence Committee suggesting that “the UK can and should play a greater role in fighting ISIS”, blasts military leaders for a lack of planning and criticises the military for having, “no UK personnel on the ground with deep expertise in the tribes, the politics of Iraq, or a deep understanding of the Shia militia.”