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article imageOp-Ed: British Troops may be deployed along Syrian border areas

By Ken Hanly     Nov 12, 2012 in Politics
London - British troops may be deployed in Syrian border areas should the humanitarian situation worsen. The Chief of General Staff, General Richards said that contingency plans were "continually brushed over".
Although General Richards claimed that any troop involvement would be limited and only with the support of people in the area, his remarks raise the possibility that the UK could involve itself in another conflict just as many countries are withdrawing from unpopular wars such as that in Afghanistan.
Richards said that the UK's main concern is that the Syrian conflict might spread over the borders into Jordan, Lebanon, or Turkey, a NATO ally.As the humanitarian situation worsens over the winter, Richards said that he anticipated there would be political pressure for the army to intervene. One wonders where this alleged "political pressure" arises. Is it from British citizens? NATO? The U.S.? No doubt the rebels will be demanding more intervention but what political pressure can they exert?
General Richards said:"Obviously we develop contingency plans to look at all these things. It is my job to make sure that these options are continually brushed over to make sure that we can deliver them and they are credible. The main thing for now that we are all focusing on is to contain the crisis so that it doesn't spill over into countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey.
That's our primary focus but that would also accommodate a humanitarian crisis because we could help deal with that through that primary mechanism. So we're keeping our awareness levels very high and in the meanwhile we're preparing plans to make sure that when some disaster happens, we're able to deal with it."
British officials quoted by the Daily Telegraph said that the UK government is contemplating a build-up of their military in the Persian Gulf region given the threat the UK perceives from Iran. General Richards also spoke of UK troops being sent into Iran. He noted that both Barack Obama and David Cameron have claimed that nothing is off the table when it came to stopping Iran's development of nuclear weapons, and said that "I have to continue to keep that one alive as well". It seems that the UK continues to want to play a role as a partner global cop alongside the U.S., NATO, and their allies.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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