A bit of briefing for the Sunday papers about a crackdown on Putin’s spies, or a warning that the struggle against ISIS will “last a generation” is not a policy. As the Greek negotiations continue, there is a case, too, for the complete economic, monetary and political unification of the Eurozone – with those outside it enjoying a new, looser relationship with the European Union. The Government is not making it. As for the Opposition, abroad might as well not exist for the party whose origins lie in the cause of international labour.
As it happens, the argument for Eurozone integration was made on this site last year by Liam Fox, who today writes in today’s Sunday Telegraph that it is time to arm Ukraine. “Primarily, this would involve properly encrypted communications, UAVs for surveillance and targeting and anti-tank capabilities to deal with the massive deficit which the Ukrainians currently have on this front,” he says.
I am dubious about sending weapons to the Ukrainian Government without having a clear plan for what follows – especially if, as is likely, Russia wins in the field. But whatever one thinks of the origins of the dispute, the dismemberment of a European country by force shouldn’t simply be met with a shrug. Perhaps Putin will seek next to destabilise the Baltic States, which we are obliged to aid as fellow NATO members, and perhaps he won’t. We must be ready either way.
As this site said recently, the time has come to commit to hitting that two per cent defence spending target. Agree or disagree with Fox as you please, but the former Defence Secretary can’t be accused of ducking the big issues. The Prime Minister needs to follow his example. He should make a big speech on foreign affairs and defence policy, and soon.