The pathetic whining of the great and good that something has to be done about the catastrophe that is present day Iraq is becoming tiresome. What needs to be done is absolutely nothing, other than sit back on the sidelines.
Across the world the state is in decline and as it falls older loyalties that nice Western people thought were long dead are emerging once again. Family, clan, tribe and religion are all blinking in the light of day as people start to cling to old certainties in a world that has gone mad. Many of those entities are tooled-up to the hilt, and the militias that they create will form the basis of the fourth generation conflicts that our children will hopefully only have to watch on television.
In a nutshell, Fourth Generation theory has it that future wars will not be fought between states, as many of them have collapsed. It will be fought by the militias that the emerging cultural entities in those former states throw up. Just over a decade ago in Iraq the Anglo-Americans were given a taste of the Fourth Generation when they battled to subjugate the clan, tribal and sectarian militias that were created to fight the occupation. They failed, in case anyone has forgotten, which suggests to me that developed states should either wage wars of extermination, as Rome did with Carthage in the Third Punic War, or draw a cordon sanitaire around an infected area and leave the people inside to kill each other until eventually exhaustion forces an end to the fighting.
Since killing all the men and selling the women and children into slavery is probably not an option, a policy of non-intervention in backward regions strikes me as the only sane policy. The UK should put aside its differences with the Assad regime in Syria and gives thanks that Ed Miliband stood up to the government's desire to once again pander to the American urge for continuous war. We should also be grateful to President Putin in Russia for making it plain to the USA that Moscow would not sit idly by and allow Syria to be destroyed by Anglo-American idiocy. Had America had its way, then I am sure that by now the whole of Syria would be ablaze as well as Iraq.
Given that President Assad's forces seem to have pretty much won the war in Syria, it is to be hoped that an incoming Miliband government will use Russia's good offices to repair relations with Syria, and then work with Assad to contain the chaos inside Iraq. Whatever divides Moscow and London, they are both strong state actors and neither has any interest in non-state actors getting out of hand, so it is to be hoped that the great powers, can agree on this policy of containment, working with whatever strong, third world states are willing to help.
Having drawn the lines in the sand, it is vital that the temptation to avoid over meddling in the carnage. The policy should be identical to the one adopted by Rome when she drew a line along the River Rhine and left the tribes east of the river to fight their endless wars over trivia. It may be necessary to supply some weaponry or minor logistics to one tribal faction that appears to be on the brink of defeat, but hopefully even that will not be necessary as Islam has more than enough young men who will want to join one faction or another so that the conflict can be left to drag on for decades.
With that in mind the government should stop actively trying to prevent young British Muslims from joining the conflict. If those young men are fighting and dying in Iraq, then they are by definition not causing trouble in Tower Hamlets. so a policy of turning a blind eye to such volunteers should be adopted.
Finally, we need to accept that refugees will try to flood out of Iraq and most will probably aim to establish themselves in the cushy berths that the West provides. That cannot be allowed to happen for the simple reason that Forth Generation Warfare involves non-state participants by its very nature. In other words, allowing potential fifth columnists into Britain would merely serve to ensure that the conflict spreads to our shores as the various groups carried on their fight on our streets, when the whole aim of the policy that I have outlined is to keep it on theirs.
I expect that the well fed, well paid, liberal middle class will wring their hands at this, but there really is no alternative to the tried and trusted policy of keeping barbarian tribes out of the civilised parts of the world and leaving them to slaughter each other on their home soil.