Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Iraq: Coalition Against ISIL

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 1:34 pm on 26th September 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Gisela Stuart Gisela Stuart Labour, Birmingham, Edgbaston 1:34 pm, 26th September 2014

That is a fair point, which I shall try to address. It brings me back to what was said by both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in their opening speeches.

First, I am very glad that on this occasion we have the clearly outlined strategy that we did not have a year ago, and that is why I feel comfortable about voting for the motion. Secondly, I am reminded of Ban Ki-moon’s observation that, while missiles kill terrorists, it is good governance that kills terrorism. The long-term answer will be the good governance of functioning nation states, and we must therefore ensure that the nation states that are currently functioning in the region—Jordan, Turkey, and Iran—do not fall apart or become compromised. We must also ensure that the fragmentation that is a risk for states such as Iraq—and, to some extent, Jordan, if we are not careful—is not allowed to happen, because it would not be in our interests. Frederick the Great said that one cannot ride on horseback against ideas. It is not a newly discovered wisdom that ideas cannot be fought with arms, but we seem to forget it at regular intervals, and every generation seems to need to be reminded of it.

Why is military action required now? I think that it is required as a starting point. A myth is developing that ISIS is undefeatable, that it will spread, and that it cannot be contained. The first step must be to show that it can be contained, and that those who want to fight it will be given support.