[News] Arming Syrian Anti-Government Forces Debate, 11 July 11.30am

Discussion in 'House of Commons' started by DOT, Jul 11, 2013.

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  1. DOT

    DOT Old-Salt SME

    Note - This is an alert for upcoming business inside the Chamber of the House of Commons. We encourage discussion and comments concerning the topic or content of the debate.
    The debate will be streamed live on Parliament.tv Player(Silverlight or Windows Media Player required to stream TV)

    Backbench Business Debate: Parliamentary Consent to Arming Anti-Government Forces in Syria
    Thursday 11 July, expected to commence at 11.30am following the conclusion of the Statement by the Leader of the House. It may begin later if any Urgent Questions or Statements are granted on the day, as Parliamentary business is subject to change.

    The motion for debate is:
    That this House believes no lethal support should be provided to anti-government forces in Syria without the explicit prior consent of Parliament.

    According to the proposer, John Baron MP, the debate “is not trying to make that decision in this debate, but it is laying down a marker that there can be no decision to arm-to provide any lethal support, which would include the arming of the Syrian rebels-without the prior consent of Parliament.”

    To see the background discussions around the Backbench Business Debate on Syria including discussions on the wording and scope of the debate please see the uncorrected evidence Transcript House of Commons - Uncorrected Evidence - Transcript of representations made on Tuesday 2 July 2013 - please be reminded that this evidence and the quote from John Baron MP mentioned above is still uncorrected and as such neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.

    Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available three hours after they happen in Today's Commons debates - UK Parliament

    About Backbench Business Debates:
    There are 35 days during the current Parliamentary schedule where business is decided not by the government but by the Backbench Business Committee. Topics for debate can be suggested by backbench MPs from any political party. The Backbench Business Committee then selects topics for debates on their merits and considers criteria including:
    • topicality and timing
    • why holding a debate is important
    • the number of MPs who are likely to take part
    • whether a debate has already been held or is likely to be arranged through other routes
  2. Good. Some ideas for consideration:

    1. Two key words - MISSION CREEP. It does and will happen.

    2. A mathematical concept - "The Law of Unintended Consequences". A pound to a pinch AQ sympathisers will succeed in this match.

    3. A good idea - If you are planning to cause Regime Change in a seriously unstable geopolitical area which is vital to the UK National Interest it would be nice to have the UK military capability to back up any actions undertaken - say an aircraft carrier with aircraft, an Army, a Navy and an Air Force to carry out the strategic outreach our current politicians seem so keen on.
  3. Personally I think arming the anti-government forces is an ill informed and knee jerk reaction. There are many groups involved and many with links directly to Al Queda, this would mean that we could be giving weapons to forces that invariably want to cause the UK and its allies hurt. Also how can we be sure that those weapons are not going to make their way to other conflicts in the area such as the West Bank, arming groups in Iraq or even groups in Egypt.
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  4. Why are parliament even debating something so utterly stupid?

    Never mind prior consent of parliament for sending weapons, the only thing that the UK should be sending to Syria for the rebels is more our own Jihadis as BCRs.
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  5. Why do British politicians feel we have to get involved in some else's war FFS? Send food, tents etc to the refugee camps if you must but sending weapons etc to one side or the other is akin to throwing petrol on a fire and it WILL come back and bite us in the arse at some point in the future.

  6. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Like many here I'm not clear that giving guns to the assorted mish mash of combatants that make up the rebels is a good idea. Surely though this motion is trying to prevent the government doing so without the explicit agreement of our elected representatives? In my opinion that has got to be a good thing.
  7. I would prefer if they gave guns to the TA first....
  8. We certainly should be sending some military assets there right now.

    A couple of UAV's would be a good starting point. They can be hunting for existing weapons storage dumps.
    Back this up with other forms of Int acting to identify the locations where the recently supplied SAM's are being kept.

    Then the UAV can do what it is proven good at with its weapons load.

    Most airline pilots and future British holiday goers will thank you for it.
  9. If we arm, it'll all end in . .


    No, it's not conjunctivitis BTW
  10. DOT

    DOT Old-Salt SME

    Hi Bad CO!

    That’s right! They will be discussing Parliament voting or at least debating on the issue of the UK providing arms prior to it potentially taking place. There were two different motions suggested for this debate. The first was:

    "That this House supports the efforts of the UK and its international partners to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria, and takes note of EU Council Decision 2013/255/CFSP of 31 May 2013, concerning restrictive measures against Syria." - the motion that ended the arms embargo on Syria. (Proposed by Richard Ottaway MP).

    The second was: "That this House believes no lethal support should be passed to anti-government forces in Syria without the explicit prior consent of Parliament."

    The transcript outlines the discussions and decisions to settle on an adaptation of the second motion, the justification given by the proposer for this motion was:

    “The reason why a number of us have gone down this road-I thank colleagues who are here today who have supported the motion, which is very cross party in nature-is that there is a deep concern about the wisdom of arming the Syrian rebels, but it reflects a wider concern as well. If one looks back at our foreign policy interventions over the past 10 years, Parliament has often arrived at the situation too late and perhaps scrutiny has suffered as a result. On Iraq, for example, we held the debate as the troops were on the start line. I know of colleagues who felt obliged to support the troops, and therefore support the invasion of Iraq, despite having qualms as to the validity of that action. On Afghanistan, we were told that once the mission had morphed from the expulsion of al-Qaeda, which most of us supported, to nation building, which a number of us opposed, we would be in and out without firing a shot. However, 444 lives later, we are still counting the cost. On Libya, we took that decision-a vote-practically as the jets were leaving the runways. For those reasons, this debate is about putting a marker in the sand as we approach recess to make sure that we do not get bounced into any sort of decision.” (Mr John Baron MP)

    Please note that this text comes from the uncorrected transcript of the Backbench Business Committee meeting and neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.

    The full transcript can be found House of Commons - Uncorrected Evidence - Transcript of representations made on Tuesday 2 July 2013

  11. I don't see why there even needs to be a debate on it. The UK needs to learn the lessons of the past thirty years or more and just stay right out of anything that doesn't directly affect us anywhere where the natives pray more than they shower. No guns for anyone, no ATGW, no SAMs and no chance of the presents we've given them being used against us in the future. It's hard to believe that our politicians are so epically stupid that we even need a debate on the mechanisms for agreeing to get involved in yet another Middle Eastern civil war.
  12. Providing the UAV's can get past the Syrian Air Force which has relatively modern Mig's and SU's, and air defense, (soon to be graded by Russia).
  13. I think their is very little public support for any intervention in the Far East, on either side. Then again that didn't stop the MP's supposedly representing the public who vote from them. From totally ignoring them on Iraq and Afghanistan.
  14. It's both highly questionale and controversial to supply arms to largely ideologically Islamist opposition groups in Syria. The recent millitary coup in Egypt has not encouraged the fractured Syrian rebels in their pursuit of any kind of representative government.

    The rebel are opposed not just by the regime but many other actors in the region including the government we installed in Baghdad. Naive comparisons have been made to Bosnia but what we have here more resembles the protracted ethno-sectarian struggle of Lebanon in the 80s in which military interventions proved ineffectual. That our Gulf Kingship allies have set themselves on a more belligerent course is perhaps that is encouraging forces that closely resemble many groups we fought in Iraq that finally may turn on them is not a recommendation.

    The regime is resilient and has mass support amongst Syria's threatened minorities. They are not winning and in the wake of the Iraq debacles impact on US public opinion the level of aid that we are likely to provide to their cause is not going to be a game changer. While we continue to hint at intervention the rebels will continue to adopt their absolutist position on negotiations with the Baath.

    Perhaps the far more straightforward humanitarian crisis on Syria's borders should concern us more than the urge to engage in a proxy war with Qom that even the Israelis at this point seem to find fairly foolish. This bears a great deal of similarity to the mass exodus of Iraqis from their civil war that we shamelessly ignored and will have similar destabilizing effects. Measures taken to mitigate this crisis have a reasonable chance of having international backing and a measure of security may provide the circumstances for
  15. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Erm, because that is the purpose of Parliament. Our elected representatives consider the thorny issues of the day then take a vote on them.

    I also suspect you've mis-read the politics of this one. I'd suggest that the Government are seriously considering arming the rebels without any approach to Parliament. John Baron (ex Capt in the RRF BTW) is trying to prevent this. I don't think that it takes the brains of an arch-bishop to realise the Government would find it very difficult to win a free vote on arming the rebels.

    The bottom line is that if you disagree with the arming of the rebels then you should be supporting this proposal.