DEFENCE – PRESIDENT TRUMP & THE MIDDLE EAST – 7 January 2020
Dr Julian Lewis: President Trump has already thrown our Kurdish friends in the area under a metaphorical bus. Will the Secretary of State confirm whether the dramatic action that President Trump has taken means that he is turning away from his policy of withdrawing from the region, increasing his policy of withdrawing from the region, or does not have the slightest idea which of the two he ought to do?
[The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ben Wallace): I cannot answer for the United States’ long-term policy on the Middle East, but I can say that this action was heavily weighted in self-defence – an issue of the here and now and the threat that they faced. My right hon. Friend’s question feeds the point made quite rightly by the former Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Jeremy Hunt), that we need to invest in our defence and security so that we are never over-dependent on one ally or another. It is the UK Government’s view that we need to have long-term support and investment in Iraq, which is important for the region. We do not want to be in a place where we are always dependent on others, such that should they change their policy, our policy has to go with it, whether we want it or not.]