Blair provided no elaboration on precisely how "over there" affects "over here", nor was he pressed to, indicating an underlying assumption in the discussion: that everywhere is a "Western" interest, and the "West" (which presumably now also includes Saudi Arabia) had better be ready and willing permanently to intervene. The second assumption was just as instructive: that Middle eastern states are of interest to the West because the latter just want to 'do good' in the former, neatly eliding very recent history not to mention the longer record of colonial rule and interference. In that regard, Blair echoes, from his perch as Middle East peace envoy, the message pumped out of the White House by President Barack Obama, and by current premier, David Cameron.
Back in 2010, USBlog noted that Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative-Liberal coalition government’s foreign and national security policy team may be inexperienced, but their ideological record is not unclear: the team is made up of a mixture that may prove quite lethal in terms of overseas interventions behind a ‘renewed’ and ‘re-balanced’ ‘special relationship’ with the
David Cameron has denied being a ‘neo-conservative’ in foreign policy terms; he claims to be a ‘liberal-conservative’. On those grounds, Cameron had supported the Iraq War and, in 2010, restated his commitment to that course of action.
Cameron outlined his interventionist plans at a speech at Chatham House, in January 2010. There is nothing original in his national security ‘strategy’s’ goals: he wants Britain to intervene before potential threats become actual threats: “we need to do much better at stopping wars from ever starting and that means really focussing on the causes of conflicts and then joining all that together to make sure that DfiD and the Foreign Office deliver a really tight, tied-up, progressive approach.”
In 2006, Cameron told an audience at the British-American Project that 9-11 style attacks represented a kind of “terrorism [that] cannot be appeased – it has to be defeated”, and called for increasing the size of the security services. He wanted to take elements that were best in the British neo-conservative approach (i.e., what Cameron attributes to Tony Blair’s approach) – appreciation of the scale of the terrorist threat, the centrality of “the leadership of the United States, supported by Britain… to the struggle”, the correctness of “extending freedom…[as] an essential objective of Western foreign policy”, and commitment to the use of military force, including “pre-emptive force” and for “humanitarian purposes”.
As a liberal, Cameron supports “spreading freedom and democracy,” but as a conservative he remains sceptical of “grand schemes to remake the world”. Cameron’s is a call for ‘realism’ in light of what’s happened since 2003 in
At the same time as calling for multilateralism, Cameron argued that the United Nations may not always be the best vehicle for decisive international intervention; “So we may need to fashion alliances which can act faster than the machinery of formal international institutions.” This sounds suspiciously like ‘coalitions of the willing’ assembled ahead of the
In the struggle to defend “civilisation”, Cameron told the British-American Project that Britain would be “moral”, that its foreign policy (quoting Victorian era prime minister, WE Gladstone), “should always be inspired by a love of freedom”, and that its methods match the morality of its goals.
This may not be full-blooded neo-conservatism, hubristic before the chastening experience of
That post-9-11 fusion was institutionalised in the