Govt needs to set out a 'realistic vision' for military intervention

The Government should set out a "realistic vision" for circumstances which would force it to commit to military intervention, MPs have said. The Defence Select Committee warned choosing to stay out of some crises could have profound implications.

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Govt: HoC 'should debate' before committing troops

The Government has dodged criticism that it is not clear enough on its military intervention policy, saying it will allow the House of Commons to debate before sending troops to overseas crisis.

A Government spokesman said:

The decision to use UK armed forces overseas is among the most significant a Government can make.

That's why the Government has stated that it will observe the existing convention that says the House of Commons should have the opportunity to debate before UK troops are committed to conflict, except in cases where the urgency of the action required makes this impossible.

Military intervention as a course of action can of course be contentious and contested but the Government is clear that it remains an important last resort when all other means of dealing with threats have been exhausted.

– Government spokesman

Non-intervention has 'implications for UK's place'

Opting out of military intervention in international crisis has "implications for the UK's place in the world," MPs have warned.

A report from the Defence Select Committee said:

We understand and acknowledge the current lack of appetite for military operations given the experiences and tensions of the past decade for operations in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, it is also necessary to understand and acknowledge that there are consequences to decisions by the UK and the international community not to intervene in humanitarian or non-humanitarian situations.

Non-intervention decisions have implications for the UK's place in the world and its influence which are as profound as a decision to undertake an intervention operation.

– Defence select committee

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Calls for 'realistic vision' of military intervention

The Government should set out a "realistic vision" of the circumstances which would force the UK to join military intervention abroad, a committee of MPs have recommended.

Failing to intervene in Georgia and Syria may have "emboldened" Russian President Vladimir Putin, the committee said. Credit: PA

The cross-party Defence Select Committee called on the Coalition to set clear parameters for the kind of behaviour which would force them to send troops abroad.

MPs also called on David Cameron's Government to clearly define the UK's place in the world.

Committee members warned the implications of not joining some crisis were just as profound as sending troops abroad.

The MPs suggested Russia may have felt empowered to intervene in Ukraine because the UK and other countries had failed to act in Georgia or Syria.

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