Bombing will not be enough

I was one of the few MPs who voted against British forces taking part in bombing operations against Islamic State fanatics in Iraq.

I did so, not because I do not think IS is a threat – it clearly is – but because I do not think bombing will be enough to destroy them.

The rats will run into the desert, and you cannot bomb a whole desert.

It will eventually come down to foot soldiers on the ground, and the big question is: who’s foot soldiers?

Is it going to be Iraqi Army soldiers? They crumbled in the face of the IS onslaught and ran away from the tanks.

The Kurds are putting up a better fight, but they cannot do it alone.

Neighbouring countries with well-trained armies should be coming together to fight this evil regime.

So my big fear is that, once again, we will see British soldiers on the ground and do we really want to go through all that again?

We lost more than 400 British soldiers in Afghanistan, the vast majority in Helmand province, which is now back in the hands of the Taliban.

That is not the fault of our brave servicemen and women, rather the fault of those who send them to war without thinking through the consequences.

Should we risk the lives of more British service personnel? I think not. I hope I am wrong, I hope that I will be proved wrong by events, but there is a grave danger of history repeating itself.

The ultimate solution to the conflicts in the Middle East must come from within the region itself.