Foreign Policy, Libya, and Great Britain’s place in the world.


So it looks like Libya will fall into civil war and the west led by us are trying to decide what they should do.

Well what should we do?

When the USA & the UK were thinking about Iraq, I said that they should stay out, they had the chance to remove Saddam when he invaded Kuwait and the Iraq’s rose up. We left them to Saddam then and they were never going to be happy about us coming back later when it suited us.

So when it comes to today’s troubles what should we do?

Well first we should have a clear foreign policy which should always be held to. At the moment and for some years we just seem to have responded in a ad-hoc   way to things as they happen and the rest of the time its business as normal with most rulers.

I think that we should set standards that we will run our policy by. Thoee policies should be based on our own way of doing things. Respect for law, respect for minorities, respect for woman, respect for other nations, equal opportunity for all in that country, free and fair elections, and respect for all faiths.

If we held to these all the time we would have more respect internationally, we should not trade with or arm any nation that does not sign up to and implement these standards. we should give up our nuclear weapons as a way of showing developing countries that you do not need them to gain respect. We should combine the French and UK UN seats into a European one so showing again that we are part of a larger group who can work together despite differences. Then maybe in time we can set up a EU military with standardised equipment and a policy set by the European parliament and not the council of ministers.  It should have a mandate to protect all EU citizens and only to intervene outside the EU borders  when asked to do so by the UN.

So what should we do now about Libya? Not much really, if we intervene our military are hardly able to do much overstretched as they are. We found it hard to even get people out of the country. If it does come to civil war we should try to insure that no one is supplying Gaddafi with any arms or supplies. We should work with other neighbouring countries to bring aid to those in need and give them any help they need to help resolve this situation.  In the end people must work out there own futures neither hindered by us or having a system imposed by us. It is our Christian duty to help our neighbour in need but making a fight worse is not the way to do it. We need to supply medical aid to those who are being killed by there own government as well as food and shelter to those made homeless.

These situations are always difficult, but how would we feel if every time we had a falling out here in our country other nations all rushed to intervene. If the rabid anti foreigner attitude of some people is taken into account not well. Intervention always ends up looking like a foreign power trying to take over and this has never worked.

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3 responses to “Foreign Policy, Libya, and Great Britain’s place in the world.

  1. If we did not trade with any nation that did not uphold our values we would have to be almost self sufficent! No oil (Saudi does not do womans rights), cheap manufactures (Free Tibet!), 3rd world food imports would be fewer (lack of political/gay/religious rights) and they as well as we would be poorer- we could afford it can the 3rd world poor? While I agree with you that there has to be a consistent view of what is totally unacceptable then what? Do we depend on the UN to legitimise all action or are our political leaders allowed discretion to uphold those principles. Should we provide humanitaian assistance to Libya? If not why not. Should we defend rebel areas from force? Should we intervine to remove Gaddafi and avert civil war and mass casualties ( a very brave move that!)? The anwers are not simple but what you know better than me are the values (as well as necessary pragmatism) that should be informing the hard decisions to be made.

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  2. True trade is important, but there have to be limits on who you will trade with. Its a governments job to make sure that they are formulated and open and fairly implemented based on this counties values.
    We should not go to war without a clear mandate, wherever that comes from but preferably from the UN. NO one person should be making that decision.

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  3. I agree (and there is plenty in your first post that I agree with), but what are those limits to trade, it really becomes clear cut only with the most appalling regimes, and how are those defined? Otherwise it becomes a balance between our values, our national or a groups profits, our strategic need, world opinion, and the effect on the opressed. We appear content to do noting about Zimbarbwe on the one hand while never daring to offend China or Saudi on the other. I would be interested in your view.
    As for unilateral intervention waiting for the UN in these situations could be determental to either the humanitarian situation or our strategic interests. Having had our fingers badly burned in respect of Iraq does not mean we should not act unilaterally only that beyond minor military involvement (extraction of civilians) Parliament must approve intervention and it should be viewed as legal (which probably excludes military intervention in Libya).

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