John Baron MP speaks of ‘dilution of skills’ at Global Diplomatic Forum

October 30, 2014
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MP says Britain must learn from military interventions

Earlier this week, John Baron MP was invited to join a panel for a round-table discussion organised by the Global Strategy Forum. The event took place in Parliament, and focused on the rise of the Islamic State and how the international community should react to it. Also speaking were: Elisabeth Dibble [Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the United States in London], Adel Darwish [Political Editor, the Middle East Magazine], Jonathan Paris [Middle East analyst]. The event was chaired by Andrew Wilson [Presenter, Sky News].

John said,

“Our recent military interventions have been plagued by errors, as evidenced by our invasion of Iraq on a false premise, the disastrous morphing of the Afghan mission into one of nation-building in 2006, and the chaos resulting from our Libyan intervention in 2011. The Government’s different positions over Syria over the last year again illustrate the point. It is essential we learn from these mistakes.”

“A dilution of skills at the top table, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has been part of the problem. Promotion based upon criteria favoured by management consultants at the expense of linguistic or country specialisation, a cut in funding, less experience on the ground for junior diplomats, have all been factors as to why the FCO has got a series of key decisions wrong. Such trends need to be reversed.”

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