The UK has arguably fought too many wars. There are limits to how much influence you can have or should want to have over how government works in distant countries. This period of retrenchment and reconsideration of our role should also be one of reflection on the limits of our power, and the effective limits on what military actions can achieve.
Over the last thirty years there has been no great principle behind intervention. We intervened in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. We did not intervene in North Korea, Zimbabwe, Syria and a host of other dictatorships and civil wars. The cry has gone up that because we cannot intervene everywhere that should not stop us intervening in some cases. I agree. It would still be wise to examine whether we have intervened too often, and whether in some cases the intervention will not be successful in the longer term.
I look forward to your thoughts on a war too far. When should we intervene? Should there by some principle behind it? Should we just intervene when a country is invaded and seeks help, as with the Falklands or Kuwait? Should we intervene where one side in a civil war wants help and we think they have the worthier cause? Does the UN always get it right, and should we only intervene at their request? Should we initiate more UN interventions, or seek fewer?
What have we and our allies achieved by Middle Eastern intervention in the last decade? What is the right pace of disengagement?