Having failed spectacularly in Afghanistan, calls are now being made for Britain and the US to apply exactly the same tactics in Iraq. The lesson that one cannot win 'hearts and minds' - the bedrock of western tactics - when the indiginous population know that you're a here today, gone tomorrow force intervening in a multi layered religo-tribal conflict rooted in territorial identity just hasn't been learned. The new road so proudly built by the military engineers linking two villages just allows them to attack each other more efficiently.
And simpletons (including those now staffing the FCO) still see this as taking sides in either backing Sunni or Shia sides in the Islamic civil war, or fighting against IS(IS/IL) inhumanity, while denying all the time that this has anything to do with Islam, are deluding themselves. There are no such delusions amongst the many Moslems reliant on their faith to justify violence.
And so despite the slick ISIS propaganda geared at dragging Western troops into a firefight - propaganda that seems to have convinced our MPs - we must continue to resist what is commonly termed 'boots on the ground'. For sure, let's use ISIS as live targets to hone our training and weapons development, let's buy a fleet of Tucano ground attack aircraft and give the weekend pilots of the RAF VR some combat air time, try out new thermobaric bombs that kill ISIS but leave the archaeology intact, train drone pilots from Waddington in taking out Toyota pickups and so on. Let's also arm the Kurds with simple, proven, robust Soviet ground weapons - multiple rocket artillery, large calibre mortars, 20mm cannon, mines. And of course let's target Salafist / Wahabbi funders from Saudi Arabia - some MI5 footage of a few pederast Wahabbi princes having drunken gay sex in London posted on Youtube should do the trick. But let's keep our troops at home.