Chancellor George Osborne has said the government will only call a vote on UK military intervention in Syria when it is "confident that we are going to win that vote".
Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, ahead of Wednesday's budget announcement, Mr Osborne said: "We're not going to go to the House of Commons and lose again."
"That would be a publicity coup for Isil and that would send a terrible message about Britain's role in the world", he added.
The prime minister is expected set out a detailed plan for tackling the crisis in Syria as he aims to bolster support for air strikes against Islamic State later this week.
"This week we are going to step up our diplomatic efforts, our humanitarian efforts and make the case for a greater military effort against Isil", the chancellor said.
"The Prime Minister will seek support across Parliament for strikes against that terrorist organisation in Syria. Frankly, Britain has never been a country that stands on the sidelines and relies on others to defend us."
On the prospect of opposition to any action, the chancellor said: "Those who are never gonna authorise or sanction or be part of any kind of British military action abroad of course are unpersuadable".
He added: "I think the UN vote in the last couple of days has shown the world that there is actually a united determination to deal with this pure evil".
With home and abroad security high on the agenda in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the chancellor also announced that the counter-terrorism budget will be increased by 30%.
"Of course the threat is omnipresent but I am absolutely confident we are going to have the resources to deal with it", the chancellor added.
In addition to new aircraft carriers, 24 advanced stealth fighter jets are to be purchased for the Royal Navy by 2023.
Mr Cameron said: "We are going to step up the aircraft carrier punch of the United Kingdom."
He added: "Britain only second to the United States will be able to project proud abroad in order to defend ourselves at home."
When asked specifically if he can rule out cuts to frontline policing, Mr Osborne declined to do so, saying: "Every public service has to make sure it is spending money well, but we will make sure Britain is properly defended against the terrorist threat.
It comes after senior police officers warned the Home Secretary that planned cuts to officer numbers will "severely impact" their ability to deal with a Paris-style attack.
Mr Osborne also played down reports of disagreements within the cabinet over the degree of cuts to non-protected departments - including a reported threat to resign by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith - insisting deals had been reached "amicably".