There is something about the way our opponents confront us, the way they combine different military and non-military measures in campaigns that have clear political objectives that we find really difficult to counter.
Recent increases in Russia’s military presence in Syria not only help reinforce a regional ally in opposition to the West, but also ensure Russia’s prominent role in Syria’s political future, with or without Assad.
On 7 September 2015 the British prime minister controversially announced that two British citizens had been killed in RAF drone strikes. The point is not so much that they were British but that he was targeted in an area that the UK does not currently regard, legally, as an operational theatre of war for UK forces.
Until last week, the UK government’s position on terrorist-related kidnap-for-ransom (KfR) mirrored that of the United States: no payments and no concessions. But the result of a six month White House review of US hostage response has created a dilemma for the prime minister.
Britain’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is toying with the idea of asking Parliament for permission to expand Britain’s campaign of airstrikes from Iraq into Syria. His impulse should be tempered with a sense of strategy.