DEFENCE – UK STRATEGY IN IRAQ – 15 December 2014

Dr Julian Lewis: When insurgents such as ISIL break cover and seize and hold territory, they lose the advantages of secrecy and surprise. It should therefore not be too difficult in the short to medium term to expel them, but then they will go back to guerrilla and terror tactics. Will the Government have in place a medium to long-term strategy for containing that sort of warfare? We have lacked such a strategy in the past when we oscillated between nation building at one extreme and doing little or nothing at the other.

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Fallon): The tactics of ISIL vary and there is some evidence that it is already altering its tactics in the face of air strikes. The overall strategy has to be led and endorsed by the Government of Iraq. It is very important that, in the end, the campaign is led by the home-grown army of Iraqi and Kurdish forces, with the support of the international coalition. The strategy has to be formulated there rather than here, but we can offer specialist expertise.]