Retired General say British PM lacked “the balls” to defeat ISIS

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, center, Commander, International Security Assistance Force Gen. David Richards, walk to the helicopter pad following a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 16, 2007. Gates is in Afghanistan to meet with top military and coalition leaders, local government officials and U.S. and Afghan National army troops. Defense Dept. photo by Cherie A. Thurlby (released)

General Sir David Richards, the former head of Britain’s Armed Forces, has blamed David Cameron for the rise of the Islamic State. In a recent interview, he said the Prime Minister lacked ‘the balls’ to crush them militarily when they first emerged as a threat.

The scathing attack on the Prime Minister was revealed in a new biography by Sir Anthony Seldon. In the book, Sir David Richards said the Prime Minister was “more about the Notting Hill liberal agenda rather than statecraft.”

According the Huffington Post, Richards revealed last year that the Prime Minister had in 2012 rejected a “coherent military strategy” to take on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. In his view, the strategy would have seen the Islamic extremists “squeezed out of existence.”

The book, which is titled Cameron At 10, reveals that:

  • The Prime Minister was in a bitter feud with Richards over how to deal with ISIS and over his campaign to oust Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi.
  • The general was echoed by the then head of MI6 John Sawers, who told the Prime Minister to his face that his plan to attack Libya was not in the “national interest” but was purely for “humanitarian reasons.”
  • President Obama repeatedly refused to take Cameron’s calls, leading to a rift between the Prime Minister and the President. Cameron regards him as “too rational and considered.”

The book also revealed that former British Prime Minister David Blair tried to arrange a deal for Gaddafi to get out of Libya. Blair approached David Cameron with the proposal but was turned down.

Cameron has vehemently defended his decision to lead the attack on Libya, though some experts say the fall of Gaddafi is linked to the huge rise in migrants trying to reach Europe by boat from Libya.

The book by Seldon reveals a series of clashes between Cameron and Richards over Cameron’s stance on Libya and Syria. During the interviews he did for the book, Richards castigates Cameron for failing to back plans for tougher military action when the Syrian crisis erupted in 2012.

In the interview, Richards says to Sheldon, “If they had the balls they would have gone through with it.” He also added that “If they’d done what I’d argued, they wouldn’t be where they are with ISIS.”


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