Where you would expect to see caution and circumspection, instead there is a rush to action. Where you would expect to see determination and resolve, there is only vacillation and delay.
The contrast between the government’s handling of the Syrian crisis and its handling of the climate change crisis could not be greater. It responds to these issues with an equal and opposite recklessness.
“We have to hit these terrorists in their heartlands right now,” David Cameron told parliament last week. While it is hard to contest the principle of fighting Islamic State, to do so without a clear strategic purpose and intelligible objectives is lunacy. The 70,000 fighters Cameron believes he can call upon may exist, but most of them are fighting President Bashar al-Assad in other parts of the country. Does he really intend to draw them away from that fight, even if – and this seems unlikely – they are willing to be drawn? After all, he insists (correctly, I believe): “We will not beat Isis if we waver in our view that ultimately Assad must go.”
Redeploy Assad’s opponents against a different enemy, and he will consolidate his hold on Syria. This flaw in the plan is so obvious that it should scarcely need stating.