Despite having seen the deaths, injuries and ruined economies caused by the largely fruitless invasions of Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan, and ruinous Middle East interventions, Britain is still one of few governments who embark on military adventures with heavy human and financial costs.
Journalist Simon Jenkins reflects ruefully on this mindset, “Where next will they bless with democracy at the blast from a drone?”
The only faction which gains from armed conflict is the arms industry, which spends a lot of time and money lobbying senior politicians, advisers and civil servants.
Professor Frank Barnaby and Commander Robert Green have pointed out that Britain should work towards the creation of a civilised society, instead of playing the “self-defeating game” of power politics.
- abandonment of the spurious concept of the ‘war on terror’ ,
- an end to double standards on human rights – silence on human rights abuses committed by ‘friendly’ governments,
- the winding down of Britain’s arms industry with a parallel programme of arms conversion,
- a pledge that Britain will never again carry out pre-emptive acts of aggression against a sovereign nation,
- unilateral nuclear disarmament
- the rejection of the location of the US anti-missile shield on British soil and
- the convening of an international conference with the stated aim of creating a viable Palestinian state.