The situation in Iraq and Syria and the response to al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq al-Sham (DAESH) - Defence Contents

6  What more might the UK do?

81. Dr Douglas Porch suggested to us that the best policy was, in fact, to refrain from any intervention in Iraq or Syria. In his opinion, every time the West had intervened in a crisis since the 1980s, it had made the situation worse with the result being the creation of power vacuums, ungoverned spaces and the alienation of the local population.[107] He suggested that, in this case, the campaign of airstrikes would result in collateral damage, the legitimisation of DAESH, the radicalisation of the local population and an increase in the number of foreign fighters.[108]

82. The option of 'doing nothing' is of course worth examining. Such an approach could conceivably reduce the risk of DAESH targeting UK citizens. It involves no commitment to long-term re-engagement with the security problems of Iraq. It would involve in the short term minimum cost for the UK.

83. It is our considered view, that the UK are right to wish to respond actively to the threat and horrors represented by DAESH and the current instability in Iraq. Failing to do so, would mark a substantial departure from the UK's long-term security partnership with both the United States and its partners in the Middle East. It would heighten perceptions that the UK has stepped back from its international role and could risk undermining wider commitment to the US-led coalition, possibly weakening the effort against DAESH. It would also make it harder for the UK to influence political developments thereafter. Furthermore, it would undermine the UK's national security interests through destabilisation of the region, and through DAESH's sponsorship of terrorist attacks and training of British foreign fighters in military tactics which could be used upon the UK public following their return home. We, therefore, believe that the UK should actively look for more ways to contribute constructively to the stability of Iraq.

84. The UK Government also appears to agree with our assessment of the importance of DAESH, Iraq, and the UK's active involvement, to UK national interests. Lieutenant General Sir Simon Mayall explained Iraq is:

    […] highly complex, highly complicated, and encloses within it a very wide range of British interests—political, diplomatic, military, commercial, financial. It is an area where the United Kingdom cannot afford not to be engaged or not to approach with a well-educated and long-term mindset. It will throw up both threats and opportunities for many years to come, and I think we happen to be a country that has both a history and responsibility for being engaged there.[109]

Peter Watkins and Lieutenant General Gordon Messenger both expressed support for this position, noting that relationships between the UK and many Middle East states were heavily based on military co-operation which allowed political relationships to flourish and was therefore vital to the progression of UK national objectives.[110]

85. Given the importance the Government apparently attaches to Iraq, the UK could do considerably more which might be constructive in Iraq without being pulled into combat operations, or significantly risking UK lives. We suspect the Ministry of Defence would be willing to do more, and if given the political direction to do, so could generate many options. Here, however, are some examples of opportunities for the UK which emerged in the course of our evidence.

Formulate a strategy

86. The first priority is for the UK to develop a clear assessment of the situation on the ground, and to be able to provide a clearly formulated strategy and campaign plan. We were shocked by the inability or unwillingness of any of the Service Chiefs to provide a clear, and articulate statement of the UK's objectives or plan in Iraq. We were troubled by the lack of clarity over who owned the policy—and indeed whether such a policy existed.

87. When we asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether our understanding of what was happening between the Sunni and Shia factions on the ground was adequate, he acknowledged that there had been intelligence failures earlier in the year (particularly in regards to DAESH leadership and the group's deployments) but suggested that such gaps could be remedied by surveillance flights as opposed to increased intelligence-gathering on the ground.[111] We remain unconvinced by the remedy proposed by the Secretary of State and would suggest that the problem is more fundamental and extends to the whole nature of the UK Government's intelligence strategy in Iraq, from requirement to assessment. We would suggest that such intelligence failures can only be remedied through human intelligence sources and political reporting, rather than a reliance on technology which cannot provide any degree of context or cultural understanding.

88. At present, it appears from witnesses that mission analysis and planning has been left almost entirely to the United States, and that the UK is currently simply supporting the US plan, without attempting to arrive at any independent analysis of its detail, assumptions or viability. This means that the British military and public is being asked to support a plan, which the UK is in no position to evaluate independently. It also means that the UK does not have the detailed knowledge to debate credibly the analysis with the United States, and Iraqi partners, and shape and influence the strategy.

89. We believe it is unacceptable for the United Kingdom simply to 'sign-up' to providing military support for a campaign plan entirely developed and owned by another coalition partner—in this case, apparently, the United States—without having any independent assessment or analysis of the assumptions, detail and viability of that campaign plan. The UK does not, of course, begin to have the resources of the US, but it is a member of the P5 of the Security Council, has the fifth largest economy in the world, and one of the largest defence budgets in the world. It should, therefore, expect to play a full and responsible role in coalition planning.

90. At the very least, it should have a full understanding of the plan. British officials and policy-makers should be expected to demonstrate a deep understanding of the nature of the insurgency (the tribes, DAESH itself, and the broader battlefield); a much better grasp of the strengths and weakness of the Iraqi Security Forces, and the Peshmerga; a strong grasp of the actions, intentions, and Iranian connections of the Shia militia; and a much deeper sense of the local population in the Sunni areas (including their views of DAESH and the Government, and their likely motives and incentives). The lesson of our last engagement in Iraq is that the absence of such 'granular' knowledge prevented the international coalition then from designing a credible plan or monitoring its performance.

91. Ideally, the UK should be contributing positively to the development of the plan, and even influencing it. We doubt that the British people are comfortable simply taking it on faith that the current Iraq plan will succeed, and conducting military operations in support of it, if we have no way of assessing or judging that plan.

Training Iraqi Forces

92. The second—and most concrete—opportunity for the UK is to meet immediately Iraq's specific request for UK trainers in counter-IED measures (made in November). Training of Iraqi Forces is intended to be supported by eight nations[112] and will take place in four bases across Iraq (with one located in the Kurdish region where the Peshmerga will be trained) and is described as focusing on building the training capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces.

93. In Baghdad we heard the detail of the request from the Iraqi Ministry of Defence (coordinated with the US First Infantry Division), which was for a few hundred UK trainers to train Iraqi soldiers in mine awareness. This was to take place within the Al-Asad airbase North-West of Baghdad. One 15 December 2014, the Secretary of State appeared to be considering this request. He told the House that:

    In early November, I announced our intention to provide further training to the Iraqi military. No decisions on troop numbers, units or locations have been made, although we expect to focus on providing expertise in countering explosive devices. During Defence questions on 24 November, I also announced our intention to advise and assist the Iraqi armed forces through the secondment of advisory personnel to command headquarters. We are considering what contribution we can make and the details of any of these decisions will be announced to Parliament in the usual way.[113]

On the same day the House of Lords was told that:

    the "advise and assist" recce team returned to this country on 7 December, and options are being considered to set up a logistics headquarter and a ninth armoured mechanical division.[114]

It was then thought that, overall, several hundred British troops would be involved.

94. However, it has subsequently become clear in press reports that even the relatively modest UK contribution to training in Iraq has been delayed or reduced in number, if not cancelled. While Australia, Spain and Italy have committed troops to the new training package, the UK is yet to do so. Such a deployment—to a remote desert base for counter-IED training—does not involve UK troops in combat, provides useful skills to the Iraqi Forces, saves lives, and ensures that the UK retains some involvement in the overall mission and some 'equity' and influence in shaping future decisions.

95. At present, however, we would caution against too much investment in broader training of the Iraqi Security Forces. Twenty-five billion dollars was spent between 2003 and 2011 on training the Iraqi Security Forces, down to the very most local level, including lengthy 'embeds' of international troops, living and fighting alongside Iraqi troops.[115] By 2009, it was common to hear international soldiers praise the Iraqi Security Forces for its increasingly robust performance at a large unit level.[116] Unlike the formation of the Iraqi police force, the Iraqi Security Forces were perceived as one of the 'successes' of Iraq (like the Afghan National Army in Afghanistan).

96. However, when 3,000 DAESH fighters advanced against the Iraqi Security Forces in Mosul in June 2014, an estimated 30,000 soldiers deserted, leaving behind equipment which was then misappropriated by DAESH. Professor Toby Dodge has highlighted the varying reasons for the collapse at Mosul:

·  Corruption: "Junior officers complain that defence officials demand bribes of $3,000 for a place at the Officer Training Academy, and the price of promotion to general is as high as $30,000. Repaying the costs of gaining promotion leads to the existence of 'ghost payrolls'—which supply the names of fictitious soldiers to the Ministry of Defence and have defrauded it of an estimated 25% of its annual wage budget—and the embezzlement of funds earmarked for soldiers' food and fuel. Reports suggest that soldiers in Mosul had to buy their own supplies from local markets and cook the food themselves. This level of corruption would have been obvious to frontline soldiers, undermining their ability to fight effectively while sapping their morale and willingness to defend the state."

·  The then Prime Minister's subversion of the chain of command and the promotion of his close allies in to positions of power: "On 7 June 2014, Lieutenant General Ali Ghaidan and Lieutenant General Abboud Qanbar flew into the city to personally oversee the fight against ISIS.22 As the commander of Iraqi ground forces and the commander of joint operations respectively, they had benefited from their close relationship with Maliki. However, as ISIS advanced on the main army base in Mosul, Ghaidan and Qanbar quickly left the city, fleeing to Erbil and then flying back to Baghdad. Reports that they had made their escape disguised as civilians began to circulate soon after, further undermining the rank and file's commitment to defending the city."[117]

It was reported that inadequate training and limited air support also contributed to the desertion of the soldiers from their posts.[118] It appears, at least anecdotally, that the senior commanders who are now portrayed as corrupt and incompetent place-men, were almost all trained by international forces. Dr Douglas Porch, in particular, emphasised the futility of such training programmes, in the absence of credible leadership and government. [119] At the very least any training of the Iraqi Security Forces should be related to institutional reform. The Iraqi Security Forces have already been trained and equipped extravagantly and repeatedly in the past decade. To do so again, without first addressing the structural issues, would be a total waste of time and money.

Expanding current UK operations:

Extending air strikes

97. A third opportunity is to build on and expand current UK operations. The air strikes currently being carried out by the Royal Air Force are obviously improving morale amongst our Iraqi allies, and should be continued. This is a relatively minor commitment involving eight of Number 2 Squadron's sixteen Tornadoes, of which it seems only two are flying at a time. But it appears to be putting strain on the RAF. Number 2 Squadron, which was due to be disbanded this year, has had to have its lifetime extended by a year[120] and the Tornados' planned out-of-service date remains, as the Secretary of State confirmed, 2019. [121] Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford explained that the Tornado could maintain their precision-bombing role throughout this year, but noted that such operations in the future depended on the migration of the Typhoon force into a multi-role combat aircraft. This was due to be completed over the next six years and he expected the Joint Strike Fighter to come into service towards the end of this decade.[122]

98. We recommend that once the Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga show increased capability and are ready for major offensives against DAESH, the UK should be prepared to provide an increased level of support to those operations from the air. This in turn relies on the UK providing the planes and resources to be able to expand and maintain air support for the military campaign.

99. The UK has not so far contributed to air strikes into Syria. On 26 September, the Prime Minister signalled this might be possible, but has so far refrained from acting.[123]

    [I]f we were to act in Syria, I believe that would be the legal basis too: collective self-defence against ISIL which threatens Iraq. But my hon Friend is absolutely right to say, and I have said this in the House before, that if one is averting a humanitarian catastrophe, that is a legal basis on which to act. Let me be clear again that although it is right that we are having this debate and this vote, if there was a moment when it looked as though there could be an urgent humanitarian need for intervention, I would be prepared to order that intervention and then come to the House and explain why.[124]

There is clearly an issue—which has been raised in the House of Commons[125]—about the UK continuing to strike only in Iraq when DAESH is able to take sanctuary on the Syrian side of the border, and when our coalition partners are conducting strikes in both Syria and Iraq. The UK Government should be careful to explain the legal reasoning and strategic logic of this restriction.


100. Recent Kurdish advances, in particular the seizing of one of the main supply corridors into Mosul and the recapture of much of Sinjar and the territory taken in August by DAESH has restored confidence in the Peshmerga forces. The Kurdish President has publicly stated however that more is required if the Peshmerga are to counter DAESH effectively.[126] The equipment which we were told that the Kurdish needed were armoured personnel carriers, heavy artillery that can penetrate the armour on DAESH-modified trucks and tankers. We were also told that the Kurdish Regional Government might be prepared to purchase this equipment, rather than relying on donations.

101. Claims were made by many that it would be more efficient to supply military equipment directly rather than through Baghdad. Indeed, we note that the Foreign Affairs Committee were informed that, as a result of the requirement for inspections of the gifted equipment in Baghdad, there was often a delay of several days in the equipment reaching the Kurdistan Region.[127] We were, however, also told by UK representatives in Iraq that the turnaround time for many items was, in practice, very short and that such claims were likely to be motivated more by a desire for greater independence for operations by the Kurdistan Regional Government and its Peshmerga forces than by any identifiable hindrance to supplies. They insisted that the greater problem for the Peshmerga, initially, was the variable quality of some of the equipment supplied, particularly some of the ammunition. There is a valid debate about whether equipment should be gifted directly to the Kurdish Regional Government or whether it ought to continue being routed via Baghdad. Direct routing would certainly improve the timeliness of receipt, however, it would be in tension with the coalition policy of strengthening the unity of Iraq—by routing assistance through Baghdad..

102. With regards to training, there are further difficulties in that the Peshmerga are not only defending their borders against DAESH, but are focused on advancing against them. A number of Peshmerga fighters have also been dispatched to Kobani to support the Syrian Kurds in their fight against DAESH. This means that, in order to train troops, they will have to be pulled off the front line. We were told that UK military (alongside coalition partners) were working with the Ministry of Peshmerga to try and devise training regimes which would best suit their needs. It was hoped that the coalition training programme would be in operation by February. We do believe that the expertise which UK troops have gained in countering IEDs is one area where training of the Peshmerga could prove decisive in the battle against DAESH.

103. Arguably, the most powerful contribution which the UK could make to the Peshmerga is in structural reform:

·  firstly, the unification of the Peshmerga in to a central, cohesive fighting force with a stated allegiance to the Kurdish Regional Government;

·  secondly, the confirmation that Peshmerga fighters would be made available to be trained; and,

·  thirdly that the Peshmerga are willing to cooperate with the Iraqi Security Forces.

If such commitments are set and adhered to, we believe that the UK Government is capable of providing much greater support to the Iraqi Government and for the Kurdish Regional Government than it has done to date. The level of that support should increase exponentially in terms of both gifting and sale of equipment and the number of UK troops provided for training, particularly in the area of command and control.


104. It was suggested in evidence that part of the UK contribution to the fight against DAESH, could be a counter-terrorism strategy,[128] similar to that carried out by the US Special Forces (outside of the NATO operation) in Afghanistan.[129] We assume that some of this is already in operation. Such a strategy, would presumably rely on Special Forces operations and remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) to kill or capture High Value targets, and would aim to disrupt their capacity to organise and plan terrorist strikes. The advantages of such an approach, is that it would degrade DAESH leadership without excessive commitment of foreign troops or resources. [130]

105. Critics of a counter-terrorism approach argued that it did not always work towards the same goals as the overall counter-insurgency operation and therefore undermined its nation-building mission.[131] It was also suggested that the lack of intelligence-gathering processes on the ground in Iraq (which previously would have been carried out by international troops, who had a legal mandate to do so under the status of forces agreement, detaining and interrogating local sources) would hamper any counter-terrorism strategy.[132] Major General (retired) Shaw also suggested that any such strategy would "seem to be mowing the grass as far as killing terrorists were concerned" but not addressing any of the significant problems which had acted as an ideological motivation for the terrorist action.[133]

106. The concerns about the legality of such operations would also have to be addressed, Professor Sir Adam Roberts told us that:

    Military operations with an anti-terrorist purpose frequently result in legal violations, because identifying legitimate targets in real time is inherently difficult, and the adversary is often hard to distinguish from the general population.[134]

Combat troops are also often very important for providing the tactical intelligence and support for counter-terrorism operations. Finally, the significant legal obstacles to targeted killings; and the absence of any agreed detention facilities in Iraq, and, therefore, the impossibility of interrogating suspects for intelligence on the terrorist networks, mean that a sustained Special Forces campaign may also undermine the UK Government's ability to influence the process of political reform in Iraq.

107. Special Forces operations will be of great use to the Iraqi Government and a counter-terrorism strategy is highly relevant to the UK's national security. The UK Government must ensure, however, that such operations are not undermining any political strategy and are in accordance with the law.

Defence Engagement and the Adaptable Brigades

108. There is considerable potential for a large and capable UK team of area specialists, developing a deep understanding of the Iraqi theatre, helping to shape analysis, and planning, and then contributing to influencing the actors on the ground. They could be placed as staff and liaison officers to the US and Iraqi systems; attached to Iraqi Divisions and Brigades; given more significant roles in the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, contributing to Iraqi planning, the development of the mission and tactics; and developing deep defence relationships with the Sunni community, including helping to integrate them into the Iraqi Government effort.

109. The UK should be ideally placed to provide this. It has committed strongly to an international defence engagement strategy, which appears designed (among other things) to enable them to provide such 'thought-leadership'. The new Adaptable Brigades have been designed specifically to "develop understanding of the geography, culture and languages of their specified regions."[135] The Chief of General Staff highlighted the opportunities presented by the international defence engagement strategy:

    [T]he idea of defence engagement is important to us, because it sees young officers and NCOs having the chance to be overseas, training individuals, doing the upstream capacity building and all of that.[136]

And, in response to our report calling for (among other things) "language skills required for effective engagement with the local population and authorities,"[137] the MOD has committed to "the development of […] a professionalised military diplomat with credibility and developed cultural, language and other skills."[138] The UK Military currently has 50 language students in Jordan and has announced a new naval base in Bahrain as the centrepiece of deeper Gulf Engagement. The Defence Centre for Languages and Culture at Shrivenham has been expanded to provide for more linguistic and cultural expertise.[139]

110. The current crisis in Iraq is an ideal opportunity for all of this to be put to work. The UK Embassy in December 2014 had capacity for a substantial expansion in its staffing levels with available accommodation units, which could be utilised at only marginal extra cost and without additional outlay on security and 'life-support' systems. The US forces indicated that they would be willing to provide free life support to UK personnel in theatre.

111. We recommend that there be an increase in analytical capability in Iraq and at home, with the priority being placed on a member of staff to monitor the progress of the Sunni outreach programme on the ground. This is vital to ensure that the conditions which have led to the current situation are not recreated in the future.

Regional Solution

112. In addition to work in Iraq itself, there is immense potential for such 'professionalised military diplomats' to work on security structures across the region. The UK could supplement existing staff with the many British citizens with deep experience of Iraq. Central to their work would be the creation of a 'regional solution' and, in particular, helping to reduce conflict and resolve the many tensions between the major regional players, in particular Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and indirectly, Russia.

113. The dangers of the current regional confrontation is clear. Witnesses have told us that the war in Syria has now become a proxy war between (mostly Iranian) Shi'ites, supporting the regime, and Sunni Arab Gulf States, supporting the opposition.[140] Lieutenant General Sir Simon Mayall, the Defence Senior Adviser for the Middle East, reiterated this, telling us that:

    We can create the space for politics to gain ground, but if the politics does not gain ground, we are conducting a very difficult military campaign, which is, fundamentally, just back into containment. There are elements of pressure in Ankara not to encourage the KRG to split. There is pressure in Tehran—tied in, of course, to all sorts of other Iranian ambitions there—to convince them that an inclusive Government that brings the Kurds and the Sunnis in is better for them than being on the frontline against ISIS in the long term. There is pressure in Riyadh and, dare I say it, the Gulf states to help us do part of the Sunni outreach and reach out a bit to Abadi, as long as he repays that confidence by acting in a non-sectarian manner. In the mean time, of course, […] the key is to try to enable the Kurds, the peshmerga in particular, and the ISF to regain the confidence and have enough capacity and capability to take that fight.[141]

Although the Sunni Arab states and Turkey view both the Assad regime and DAESH as a threat, Turkey views the Assad regime as more of a threat and so has refused to engage unless the coalition expands operations to attack Assad regime targets.[142]

114. All regional players should by now acknowledge the significant threat posed by DAESH to the stability of the region. The stated aim of DAESH is to create an Islamic Caliphate in the Levant—an area which encompasses Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and Southern Turkey.[143] There have also been suggestions that DAESH have aspirations to move in to Saudi Arabia[144] and that Jordan and Lebanon[145] are vulnerable to DAESH incursions.

115. Joost Hilterman told us that there could be a role for the West in facilitating dialogue amongst the countries in the region. He referred to a previously held forum which could act as a model:

    There used to be such a thing as a regional security conference that involved the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Ministers of the Interior from Iraq's neighbouring states—Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others—and it could be revived. That would be one way of lessening some of the tensions and I certainly think that Western nations could help to facilitate and encourage that. That requires good diplomacy and that is certainly something that you have great experience in.[146]

There is certainly an appetite for a regional solution among some members of the international coalition—in Jordan, we were told that there was a desire to 'Arabise' the narrative of the fight against DAESH and that bilateral discussions were taking place amongst regional leaders. This idea was welcomed by the Defence Secretary who said:

    The extent to which our allies in the Gulf accept that they and other regional parties have a regional responsibility to help the Government of Iraq deal with this challenge is encouraging. The recent conference in Kuwait on combating the ideology of ISIL was an important illustration of that.[147]

As well as the conference, there is further evidence of the neighbouring countries (including Jordan and Turkey) taking responsibility by agreeing to host the training of moderate Syrian opposition troops. However, as previously highlighted, the positions of the key regional powers—Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran—remain heavily polarised.

116. We recommend that the UK Government radically increase their diplomatic and defence engagement with the key regional powers—particularly Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran—to develop a much more detailed picture of the potential benefits and challenges of a regional solution.

The Political Dimension of Iraq

117. While all military activities will be (as they should be) directed through the Government in Baghdad, it is vital that the military and political strategy are intertwined—without success in one, the other will surely fail. The importance of this work was emphasised by witnesses. Malcolm Chalmers of RUSI has commented that the

    strategy of the campaign in Iraq is also becoming clear—to contain and then degrade ISIS, replacing it with alternative Sunni leaders who command local support. This will require the nurturing of these leaders, and a reversal of the repressive and sectarian policies that helped ISIS to build its support in the first place. Important steps in this direction have been taken by the removal of Nouri al Maliki, and by the broadening of the Iraqi Government.[148]

118. A similar point was made by Major General Jonathan Shaw who noted that, although containment was a worthwhile objective, current UK military actions may prove to be limited in supporting any sort of political process.[149] Peter Watkins informed us that containment was the first step in the longer term strategy which was focused on a political solution.[150] We heard in Baghdad from some very senior Iraqi leaders that there would ultimately need to be a political settlement between the Baghdad Government and the non-Islamist elements in the insurgency includes former Saddam regime/Ba'athist officials and military officers.

119. In particular, this could include playing a role in reintegrating Sunni and Shia forces in a way that has proved challenging for the Baghdad government. As a coalition partner, we must take some responsibility for the actions carried out against DAESH by Shia militias, especially when those actions result in the gross violation of human rights. The UK Government should use whatever influence it has available in Baghdad to underline the necessity to curb the atrocities and influence of the Shia militia.

120. In terms of engagement with the political endeavours, Peter Watkins told us that the political strategy, focused on seeing a more inclusive government in Iraq, would be carried out by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in conjunction with the UN, the US and other coalition partners.[151] However, during the most recent FCO questions in the House of Commons, the Minister failed to mention any aspects of a political strategy:

    John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness) (Lab/Co-op): Do the Government recognise that the failure of reconstruction after the last Iraq war shows that any military effort will be insufficient unless the UK does far more to engage with its partners and allies, to enable good governance in currently ungoverned spaces in Iraq and Syria to prevail?

    Mr Ellwood: The hon Gentleman raises a critical point. The international community, especially Iraq's neighbours and Iraq itself, must play a crucial role in providing assistance and technical support and governance and stabilisation once the fighting has happened. We are seeing successes: Iraqi forces have liberated the key town of Bayji, and the National Guard programme is formalising the militia structure, to improve security as well as command and control. They are stopping ISIL in its tracks and pushing it back, out of Iraq. This is a turning point.[152]

It would therefore appear that UK lacks a developed political strategy.

107   Q48 Back

108   Q49 Back

109   Q286 Back

110   Q287 Back

111   Oral evidence taken on 17 Dec 2014, HC (2014-15) 512, Qq344-7 Back

112   These are Australia, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US. Back

113   HC Deb, 15 Dec 2014, col. 1121 Back

114   HL Deb, 15 Dec 2014, col. 51 Back

115   Shashank Joshi (ISI0021) para 10 Back

116   Stiff test for Mosul as US pulls out, The Financial Times, 20 August 2010 Back

117   Dr Toby Dodge, Can Iraq Be Saved? Survival: Global Politics and Strategy October-November 2014, Volume 56, pages 7-20  Back

118   The Iraqi Army Was Crumbling Long Before Its Collapse, U.S. Officials Say, The New York Times, 12 June 2014  Back

119   Q56; 91-2 Back

120   RAF Tornado squadron saved from the scrap heap to bomb Isil, The Telegraph, 2 October 2014  Back

121   Oral evidence taken on 17 Dec 2014, HC (2014-15) 512, Q301-3 Back

122   Oral evidence taken on 5 Nov 2014, HC (2014-15) 512, Q130-1 Back

123   HC Deb, 26 Sept 2014, col. 1259 Back

124   HC Deb 26 Sep 2014, col. 1263 Back

125   HC Deb, 16 Oct 2014, col. 484 Back

126   Iraqi Kurds say West not providing enough arms to defeat Islamic State, Reuters, 19 November 2014  Back

127   Foreign Affairs Committee, Eighth Report of Session 2014-15, UK Government policy on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, HC 564, Para 102 Back

128   Q32 Back

129   U.S. Asks Allies for Counterterrorism Force in Afghanistan, Wall Street Journal, 4 June 2014  Back

130   Q23 Back

131   Q23 Back

132   Q32 Back

133   Q111 Back

134   Professor Sir Adam Roberts (ISI 0001), para 26 Back

135   British Army, Transforming the British Army 2013, July 2013, p21 Back

136   Oral evidence taken on 5 Nov 2014, HC (2014-15) 512, Q99 Back

137   Defence Committee, Fourteenth Report of Session 2013-14, Intervention: Why, When and How? HC 952, para 96 Back

138   Defence Committee, Fourth Special Report of Session 2014-15, Intervention: Why, When and How? Government Response to the Committee's Fourteenth Report of Session 2013-14, HC 581, Para 18 Back

139   Q289 Back

140   Q185 Back

141   Q317 Back

142   Q262 Back

143   What is Islamic State? The Wall Street Journal, 12 June 2014  Back

144   Q1 Back

145   MOD, (ISI 0016) Back

146   Q19 Back

147   HC Deb 15 Dec 2014, col. 1127 Back

148   RUSI, Western Operations Against ISIS: Holding Back in Syria,24 November 2014  Back

149   Q142 Back

150   Q314-5 Back

151   Q317 Back

152   HC Deb, 2 Dec 2014, col. 144 Back

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Prepared 5 February 2015