Clueless Cameron is playing PR-politics over Ukraine

On Tuesday, UK prime minister David Cameron announced that Britain would be sending 75 military advisors to Ukraine. The announcement, which came out of the blue, seemed to have been an ad hoc and last-minute decision. What probably motivated it was last week’s House of Lords report on the situation in Ukraine, in which it was suggested that Britain should take more of a diplomatic role in the crisis. It is also notable that the recent Minsk ceasefire was brokered by Germany and France – and did not involve Britain.

The decision to send 75 trainers is, in military terms, meaningless. It can have little effect on the ground. What it does do, however, is contribute to increasing hostility and tensions. The Guardian editorial on the topic tied itself in knots acknowledging the futility of the move, yet at the same time attempting to applaud the gesture.

This is exactly what it is: a form of gesture politics that demonstrates with utmost clarity how unhinged, dangerous and immoral our current government is when it comes to foreign policy. Sending several military advisers to Ukraine is gesture politics at its very worst. It helps complicate the Ukraine crisis for no reason other than to make Cameron and pals feel as if they are doing something.

But, make no mistake, our government will take us further into conflict and sacrifice lives without a thought.

Tara McCormack is a lecturer in international politics at the University of Leicester.

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