If this is what our military top brass advise, we are in deep trouble. The fantasy self-delusional picture of ISIS was described by Rear Admiral Chris Parry on BBC Wales this week. He is optimistic that ISIS is a small containable problem.
He said, ‘Local People are sorting this out.’ Everyone hates ISIS. Not just us in the West but most Muslim populations.’ He forecast that ISIS ‘will be eradicated.’
I was on the same programmed and said that the Rear Admiral has serious mis-judged the situation. ISIS has the support of many people in the areas they occupy because they welcome a Sunni force after being unfairly dominated by the Shias from Bagdad. An insurgency that has the support of the local population is very difficult to defeat. ISIS has the fanatical support of some Britons, born and educated here, who are putting their lives at risk to back them in their war. The longing for a Caliphate is a centuries old dream among millions of Muslims. Neighboring countries are divided and many are supporting ISIS with weapons and money.
The ignorant complacency of the Admiral’s views are reminders of those who believe that the Iraq War would eliminate non-existent weapons of mass destruction and invade Helmand in the belief that not a shot would be fired. Those blunders cost the UK the lives of 632 brave soldiers and left 2,000 maimed for life.
General Dannatt, as always, is demanding an invasion. We should wait until Chicot is published. Then we can understand the scale of one of our past mistakes before we blunder into a new avoidable war.