The Kidnapped Brits: RIP to Deterrence and Containment?
The British government’s lack of forceful reaction to the kidnapping of 15 of their sailors is becoming increasingly disheartening. In the first few days, it was possible to believe there were some low-profile, backchannel negotiations being conducted that might have resolved the situation quickly and quietly, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
This is what passes these days as a forceful reaction to state-sponsored hostage taking, according to CNN…
British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett also announced Wednesday that Britain would freeze all bilateral business with Iran until the 15 personnel were released.If the current government of the UK doesn’t react in a more serious way very soon, they will seriously undermine the West’s ability to carry out deterrence and containment based strategies against the government of Iran. There’s no deterrent shield when an enemy thinks you won’t fight back, and you can’t contain an enemy who knows that all he has to do is push to make you retreat. Failing to respond to aggression only encourages further aggression.
“We are now in a new phase of diplomatic activity,” Beckett told members of parliament.
(And a question for Congressman James Langevin or any progressives who would care to answer; will they describe the kidnapping of British sailors as Iranian “escalation” of the war in the Middle East, or is escalation something only the United States can be guilty of?)