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The Cost of Doing Nothing - Policy Exchange

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The Cost of Doing Nothing

‘The Cost of Doing Nothing’ report started with Jo Cox, who believed ‘Britain must lead again’.

In a report for Policy Exchange, Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South and Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling, say that “the rise of knee jerk isolationism, unthinking pacifism and anti-interventionism in Britain have dangerous implications for national security and the safety of civilians around the world”.

The paper, The Cost of Doing Nothing, was initially due to be published by MPs Jo Cox (a former humanitarian worker) and Tom Tugendhat (a former soldier) in July to coincide with the delayed Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. However, Jo’s murder on 16th June led to the paper being put on hold. With the consent of Jo’s husband, Brendan Cox, Policy Exchange has today (Thursday) released the full report, with McGovern completing the work of her close friend and colleague.

Brendan Cox, Jo’s husband, said: “Jo was passionate about this piece of work. She felt deeply that the UK had a duty to stand up for civilians threatened by war and genocide. Her commitment wasn’t theoretical, it was forged by her experience of meeting survivors of genocide in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda and Sudan. Last week I was clearing some of Jo’s things and found the first draft of the report that she had scribbled all over. At the top she had written ‘Britain must lead again’. Although she isn’t here to advance that argument, she’d be delighted that her colleagues and friends are able to do so in her stead.”

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: “Britain has never been isolationist. It is in our national interest to be engaged with the world we helped shape. That means taking responsibility, and influencing events and intervening when necessary. To stand aside would not make us or the world safer, but leave us vulnerable to the whims of others rather than doing what we have always done – shape our own destiny and be a force for good.”

Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, added: “We cannot simply look the other way in cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Jo never believed that simply doing nothing in the face of atrocities was good enough, and neither should we. On the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, and in the light of what is happening right now in Syria, it is ever more important for us to do what we can to ensure her message is heard.”

Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown, who will launch the report today, said: ‘In her last speech in the House of Commons, Jo Cox said that “sometimes all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Nothing is more important than the responsibility of each state to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, and the responsibility of the international community to act if a state is unwilling or unable to do so.’

Former Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Lord Hague, who has recorded a special video message for the launch event, said: “It is vital to defeat the temptation that has grown in recent years to turn our backs on the rest of the world. This is neither strategically sound, nor in keeping with British traditions and values. Hard as it may be, we have to be prepared to use all the tools in our toolbox to prevent war crimes and crimes against humanity, and advance the causes of universal human rights and development.”

The report examines the history of British intervention – militarily and from a humanitarian perspective – arguing that it has been an irreducible part of British foreign and national security policy for over two hundred years. It says that while the recent lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan must be learned, a retreat from playing a proactive role in world affairs heightens the risk of further global instability.

The paper points to recent examples of where intervention has been successful:
  • The establishment of a no-fly zone in northern Iraq in 1991 successfully protected the Kurds from Saddam Hussein’s genocidal air attacks.
  • The 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo protected tens of thousands of civilians threatened by Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign of ethnic cleansing.
  • The British intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000 helped repel the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) advance, paving a path to peace.
The paper also highlights examples of where failure to intervene has had devastating consequences:
  • In 1994, the international community’s slow response to the breakdown of peace in Rwanda was unable to prevent the genocide of up to 1 million Tutsis.
  • The inadequacy of UN missions in the former Yugoslavia meant they did not have a mandate to prevent ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia including the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.
  • Most recently, the British government’s defeat in a House of Commons vote in 2013 meant that Western governments did not intervene in the earlier stages of the Syrian Civil War; it is estimated that half a million people have now died and two million been displaced in the ongoing conflict.
 
Oh that's a good start.....

With foreword provided by St Tony of Sedgefield (SWIFT transfers accepted, but carrier bags full of used notes preferred).
 
MPs think that we should continue putting British Armed Forces in harm's way so the politicians can look big on the world stage and appear to "be doing something"...

As long as it doesn't interfere with their liftstyle or affect their kids.

So no change there then.... :rolleyes:
 
MPs think that we should continue putting British Armed Forces in harm's way so the politicians can look big on the world stage and appear to "be doing something"...

As long as it doesn't interfere with their liftstyle or affect their kids.

So no change there then.... :rolleyes:

And the Armed Forces exist for what other reason? To let you get fat and pissed?
 
MPs think that we should continue putting British Armed Forces in harm's way so the politicians can look big on the world stage and appear to "be doing something"...

As long as it doesn't interfere with their liftstyle or affect their kids.

So no change there then.... :rolleyes:

Indeed, I wonder how many will join at least the TA to do their bit and how many will do **** all actual work.
 
The Cost of Doing Nothing

‘The Cost of Doing Nothing’ report started with Jo Cox, who believed ‘Britain must lead again’.

In a report for Policy Exchange, Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South and Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling, say that “the rise of knee jerk isolationism, unthinking pacifism and anti-interventionism in Britain have dangerous implications for national security and the safety of civilians around the world”.

The paper, The Cost of Doing Nothing, was initially due to be published by MPs Jo Cox (a former humanitarian worker) and Tom Tugendhat (a former soldier) in July to coincide with the delayed Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. However, Jo’s murder on 16th June led to the paper being put on hold. With the consent of Jo’s husband, Brendan Cox, Policy Exchange has today (Thursday) released the full report, with McGovern completing the work of her close friend and colleague.

Brendan Cox, Jo’s husband, said: “Jo was passionate about this piece of work. She felt deeply that the UK had a duty to stand up for civilians threatened by war and genocide. Her commitment wasn’t theoretical, it was forged by her experience of meeting survivors of genocide in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda and Sudan. Last week I was clearing some of Jo’s things and found the first draft of the report that she had scribbled all over. At the top she had written ‘Britain must lead again’. Although she isn’t here to advance that argument, she’d be delighted that her colleagues and friends are able to do so in her stead.”

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: “Britain has never been isolationist. It is in our national interest to be engaged with the world we helped shape. That means taking responsibility, and influencing events and intervening when necessary. To stand aside would not make us or the world safer, but leave us vulnerable to the whims of others rather than doing what we have always done – shape our own destiny and be a force for good.”

Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, added: “We cannot simply look the other way in cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Jo never believed that simply doing nothing in the face of atrocities was good enough, and neither should we. On the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, and in the light of what is happening right now in Syria, it is ever more important for us to do what we can to ensure her message is heard.”

Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown, who will launch the report today, said: ‘In her last speech in the House of Commons, Jo Cox said that “sometimes all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Nothing is more important than the responsibility of each state to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, and the responsibility of the international community to act if a state is unwilling or unable to do so.’

Former Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Lord Hague, who has recorded a special video message for the launch event, said: “It is vital to defeat the temptation that has grown in recent years to turn our backs on the rest of the world. This is neither strategically sound, nor in keeping with British traditions and values. Hard as it may be, we have to be prepared to use all the tools in our toolbox to prevent war crimes and crimes against humanity, and advance the causes of universal human rights and development.”

The report examines the history of British intervention – militarily and from a humanitarian perspective – arguing that it has been an irreducible part of British foreign and national security policy for over two hundred years. It says that while the recent lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan must be learned, a retreat from playing a proactive role in world affairs heightens the risk of further global instability.

The paper points to recent examples of where intervention has been successful:
  • The establishment of a no-fly zone in northern Iraq in 1991 successfully protected the Kurds from Saddam Hussein’s genocidal air attacks.
  • The 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo protected tens of thousands of civilians threatened by Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign of ethnic cleansing.
  • The British intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000 helped repel the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) advance, paving a path to peace.
The paper also highlights examples of where failure to intervene has had devastating consequences:
  • In 1994, the international community’s slow response to the breakdown of peace in Rwanda was unable to prevent the genocide of up to 1 million Tutsis.
  • The inadequacy of UN missions in the former Yugoslavia meant they did not have a mandate to prevent ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia including the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.
  • Most recently, the British government’s defeat in a House of Commons vote in 2013 meant that Western governments did not intervene in the earlier stages of the Syrian Civil War; it is estimated that half a million people have now died and two million been displaced in the ongoing conflict.
Barely a ringing endorsement of the UN or the EU
 
And the Armed Forces exist for what other reason? To let you get fat and pissed?

Who decided our MPs get to play World Police?

Why should our (currently extremely depleted) armed forces constantly be thrown into every 3rd world sh*thole at great expense to the UK taxpayer? How about standing back and letting someone else have a go for a change. Isn't that the UNs job?

Somehow I don't think there'll be any rush.

Edited to add - the whole thing smacks of the modern trend for handwringing and weepy types to spout about "we must do something" and "will no-one think of the chldren?", and usually ignoring thet fact that:

1. The situation is not of our making
2. The locals like killing each other
3. If we stop them killing each other they will happily try and kill our soldiers instead
4. They will hate us for interfering.

PS I'm not fat and I rarely get pissed - hangovers hurt too much at my age... ;-)
 
Who decided our MPs get to play World Police?

Why should our (currently extremely depleted) armed forces constantly be thrown into every 3rd world sh*thole at great expense to the UK taxpayer? How about standing back and letting someone else have a go for a change. Isn't that the UNs job?

Somehow I don't think there'll be any rush.

Edited to add - the whole thing smacks of the modern trend for handwringing and weepy types to spout about "we must do something" and "will no-one think of the chldren?", and usually ignoring thet fact that:

1. The situation is not of our making
2. The locals like killing each other
3. If we stop them killing each other they will happily try and kill our soldiers instead
4. They will hate us for interfering.

PS I'm not fat and I rarely get pissed - hangovers hurt too much at my age... ;-)

So, what do the Armed Forces exist to do then? If they're not going to be placed into 3rd world shitholes - which is where most of the world's problems spring from - what are they going to do? Why have them?
 
The Cost of Doing Nothing

‘The Cost of Doing Nothing’ report started with Jo Cox, who believed ‘Britain must lead again’.

In a report for Policy Exchange, Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South and Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling, say that “the rise of knee jerk isolationism, unthinking pacifism and anti-interventionism in Britain have dangerous implications for national security and the safety of civilians around the world”.

The paper, The Cost of Doing Nothing, was initially due to be published by MPs Jo Cox (a former humanitarian worker) and Tom Tugendhat (a former soldier) in July to coincide with the delayed Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. However, Jo’s murder on 16th June led to the paper being put on hold. With the consent of Jo’s husband, Brendan Cox, Policy Exchange has today (Thursday) released the full report, with McGovern completing the work of her close friend and colleague.

Brendan Cox, Jo’s husband, said: “Jo was passionate about this piece of work. She felt deeply that the UK had a duty to stand up for civilians threatened by war and genocide. Her commitment wasn’t theoretical, it was forged by her experience of meeting survivors of genocide in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda and Sudan. Last week I was clearing some of Jo’s things and found the first draft of the report that she had scribbled all over. At the top she had written ‘Britain must lead again’. Although she isn’t here to advance that argument, she’d be delighted that her colleagues and friends are able to do so in her stead.”

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: “Britain has never been isolationist. It is in our national interest to be engaged with the world we helped shape. That means taking responsibility, and influencing events and intervening when necessary. To stand aside would not make us or the world safer, but leave us vulnerable to the whims of others rather than doing what we have always done – shape our own destiny and be a force for good.”

Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, added: “We cannot simply look the other way in cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Jo never believed that simply doing nothing in the face of atrocities was good enough, and neither should we. On the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, and in the light of what is happening right now in Syria, it is ever more important for us to do what we can to ensure her message is heard.”

Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown, who will launch the report today, said: ‘In her last speech in the House of Commons, Jo Cox said that “sometimes all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Nothing is more important than the responsibility of each state to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, and the responsibility of the international community to act if a state is unwilling or unable to do so.’

Former Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Lord Hague, who has recorded a special video message for the launch event, said: “It is vital to defeat the temptation that has grown in recent years to turn our backs on the rest of the world. This is neither strategically sound, nor in keeping with British traditions and values. Hard as it may be, we have to be prepared to use all the tools in our toolbox to prevent war crimes and crimes against humanity, and advance the causes of universal human rights and development.”

The report examines the history of British intervention – militarily and from a humanitarian perspective – arguing that it has been an irreducible part of British foreign and national security policy for over two hundred years. It says that while the recent lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan must be learned, a retreat from playing a proactive role in world affairs heightens the risk of further global instability.

The paper points to recent examples of where intervention has been successful:
  • The establishment of a no-fly zone in northern Iraq in 1991 successfully protected the Kurds from Saddam Hussein’s genocidal air attacks.
  • The 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo protected tens of thousands of civilians threatened by Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign of ethnic cleansing.
  • The British intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000 helped repel the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) advance, paving a path to peace.
The paper also highlights examples of where failure to intervene has had devastating consequences:
  • In 1994, the international community’s slow response to the breakdown of peace in Rwanda was unable to prevent the genocide of up to 1 million Tutsis.
  • The inadequacy of UN missions in the former Yugoslavia meant they did not have a mandate to prevent ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia including the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.
  • Most recently, the British government’s defeat in a House of Commons vote in 2013 meant that Western governments did not intervene in the earlier stages of the Syrian Civil War; it is estimated that half a million people have now died and two million been displaced in the ongoing conflict.
The cost of doing nothing is a lot cheaper in both British lives and British money.
 
So, what do the Armed Forces exist to do then? If they're not going to be placed into 3rd world shitholes - which is where most of the world's problems spring from - what are they going to do? Why have them?

How about a novel idea - train to protect and defend this country. The current recruiting problem might be indicative that potential recruits aren't so keen to put their lives on the line for the third world and politicians who seem to regard the armed forces merely as a disposable resource and who are no longer bothered to even fund it adequately.
 
How about a novel idea - train to protect and defend this country. The current recruiting problem might be indicative that potential recruits aren't so keen to put their lives on the line for the third world and politicians who seem to regard the armed forces merely as a disposable resource and who are no longer bothered to even fund it adequately.

If we were intervening all over the world, I expect recruits would be lining up. Recruitment is the one thing it would be good for.
 
So, what do the Armed Forces exist to do then? If they're not going to be placed into 3rd world shitholes - which is where most of the world's problems spring from - what are they going to do? Why have them?
They exist to protect Britain and British interests, and where applicable to defend out NATO allies.

Not as a go to asset to be seen to be 'doing something' every time one set of savages decide to have a pop at another set of savages. As others have pointed out that always leads to

A) Inevitable loss of British life
B) Inevitable loss of their lives which then leads to
C) It's then all 'our fault'
D) We are expected to take responsibility for 'rebuilding' their shithole countries
E) We are expected to take in millions of them because C)

There is no upside to us policing the third world, we should only get involved if British interests are under threat.
 
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If we were intervening all over the world, I expect recruits would be lining up. Recruitment is the one thing it would be good for.

If we were intervening in Jamaica or Barbados, maybe. Iraq and Afghanistan arent the pull they once were.
 

Honkers

Old-Salt
If we were intervening in Jamaica or Barbados, maybe. Iraq and Afghanistan arent the pull they once were.

Oh, I don't know. If you join the RAF you can help in all sorts of situations around the world while also doubling as a five star hotel reviewer on Tripadvisor.

I once did a five week Nimrod detachment in Oman doing "Anti pollution" patrols. I for one am proud of my time spent confronting this serious issue and doing my bit for protecting the environment .. while also supporting the luxury hotel industry in Oman.

I would happily sacrifice my time to do it again too .. Because I care.
 
They exist to protect Britain and British interests, and where applicable to defend out NATO allies.

Not as a go to asset to be seen to be 'doing something' every time one set of savages decide to have a pop at another set of savages. As others have pointed out that always leads to

A) Inevitable loss of British life
B) Inevitable loss of their lives which then leads to
C) It's then all 'our fault'
D) We are expected to take responsibility for 'rebuilding' their shithole countries
E) We are expected to take in millions of them because C)

There is no upside to us policing the third world, we should only get involved if British interests are under threat.

apart from if we stop instability further away, we won't have to deal with it on our doorsteps.

If we'd sorted out Libya and Syria properly, they wouldn't be having their homes and livelihoods destroyed, and thus they wouldn't feel compelled to come to Europe to be safe.

If we sorted out the instability in central Africa (DRC in the main) our mobile phones would be cheaper as tantalum costs would fall.

If we intervened in Yemen, the excess costs in shipping gas and oil wouldn't be passed on to UK consumers.

In intervening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we'd cut off at source terrorist havens, which would reduce (but not remove) the threat to UK PLC.

Believe in globalisation or not, it believes in you. Everything we do in the UK is connected to the wider world, and very often a cheaper and quicker response is to intervene far away using people who volunteer to do such a thing.

As DeltaDog pointed out, there was never a recruitment problem during the TELIC/HERRICK years - people want to do this kind of stuff.
 
apart from if we stop instability further away, we won't have to deal with it on our doorsteps.

If we'd sorted out Libya and Syria properly, they wouldn't be having their homes and livelihoods destroyed, and thus they wouldn't feel compelled to come to Europe to be safe.

If we sorted out the instability in central Africa (DRC in the main) our mobile phones would be cheaper as tantalum costs would fall.

If we intervened in Yemen, the excess costs in shipping gas and oil wouldn't be passed on to UK consumers.

In intervening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we'd cut off at source terrorist havens, which would reduce (but not remove) the threat to UK PLC.

Believe in globalisation or not, it believes in you. Everything we do in the UK is connected to the wider world, and very often a cheaper and quicker response is to intervene far away using people who volunteer to do such a thing.

As DeltaDog pointed out, there was never a recruitment problem during the TELIC/HERRICK years - people want to do this kind of stuff.
'Once, we had an Empire', Alan Partridge.

Look at anyone's third world population projections. They are through the roof. And unsustainable. They will be killing each other to get access to the well Geldoff was whining was a bit of a trek. And it will all go by tribe or clan or religious subgroup and will, if we let it, be labelled genocide so we will have to get involved.

No. Let Darwin deal with third world over breeding, not one drop of British blood should be spilt so a politician can vaingloriously pretend there is a British military solution to the problem that there are going to be far too many of the useless twats.
 

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