By- Mohammed Elsabagh:
Tony Blair considered that the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq has made the UK “hesitant” to intervene in Syria.
The former British prime minister added he was disappointed the UK would not be taking part in military action.
Blair “disagreed” with Labour leader Ed Miliband, who helped defeat the government in a Commons vote last week. A Labour source rejected Mr Blair’s analysis, saying the lessons the Labour leader had learned from Iraq was the importance of avoiding an “ill-judged and reckless rush to war”.
The spectre of Iraq loomed over the parliamentary debate over Syria, as many MPs used the war both explicitly and implicitly as their reason for not voting for the Government’s motion on Syria. Some pointed towards public opinion as a reason for staying out, with some MPs even taking to Twitter to gauge the thoughts of the public. Having looked back over Ipsos MORI polls on Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, it is possible to see an apparent increase in trepidation among the British public about taking military action abroad.
Looking back to 1991 there was a high level of support for the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s troops before the First Gulf War had begun. Three quarters (75pc) of British adults supported the action, and high approval levels maintained throughout.
Military action in Bosnia and Kosovo also carried popular support, with 52pc supporting armed conflict in Bosnia in 1995 and 59pc supporting air attacks. In 1999, the British public was strongly supportive of taking action in Kosovo with three quarters (76pc) saying Britain was right to join Nato in taking action.