Tony Blair has written an essay on his personal website, urging Britain to not rule out the option of sending troops on the ground to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), arguing that air strikes will not be enough.
In the 6,500 word essay, the former Prime Minister said that David Cameron could void the “weaknesses” of Western strategy after September 11th by gaining the consent of Iraq and Syria, along with a broad international alliance including Arab countries.
He wrote, “We have to fight groups like ISIS. There can be an abundance of diplomacy, all necessary relief of humanitarian suffering, every conceivable statement of condemnation which we can muster, but unless they’re accompanied by physical combat, we will mitigate the problem but not overcome it.
“You cannot uproot this extremism unless you go to where it originates and fight it.”
This essay was written just as David Cameron is in the middle of considering the extent to which Britain will intervene. The Prime Minister will attend a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday, where he will outline Britain’s contribution to tackling ISIS.
Although Mr Cameron has ruled out the sending of troops on the ground, he has not ruled out an air strike campaign.