by Jason Moore

A Spanish colleague always jokes with me by saying that where shots are being fired you will find the British. Unfortunately he is right. I had been hoping that Britain would not get involved in Mali. Initially Prime Minister David Cameron just spoke of logistical support in the form of RAF transport aircraft. Then it increased to RAF spy planes and yesterday he announced that troops would be sent. What next? Granted that Britain´s military contribution is small but it is growing larger by the day. It comes at a time when the army is being reduced and Britain still has 10'000 troops in Afghanistan. I don´t understand why successive British Prime Ministers feel the need for Britain to be one of the world´s policemen again. The U.S. are taking a back seat, and Britain should follow their example. I suspect that both Britain and the U.S. will be forced to offer more help to the French in Mali, who appear to lack large transport aircraft and even troops. While Britain and France may not agree on the European Union, Britain has shown that it is a good friend to France, supporting its efforts in Mali and sending military equipments and some troops. It would be nice if for once Britain just sat on the sidelines, offering diplomatic support but nothing else. Britain doesn´t have the military clout that it once had and while successive Prime Ministers cut the defence budget they also demand military action.

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