December 4: Air attacks may prove a futile gesture

From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

A MAJOR strength of air power (Colonel Bob Stewart, The Yorkshire Post, December 2) is its capacity to deny an enemy the freedom of large scale manoeuvre in the open, or to exact a heavy toll if they are undeterred. At other times there may be little of use for it to do. Its highly sophisticated and inordinately expensive ordnance is designed to counter high value targets, which may be few and far between.

This suggests adopting a position of readiness and having the patience to wait. The danger is that, in our thirst for action and results, we may engage in the long grind of ineffectual campaigning and exhaust our will to fight before the right moments come. This was the situation which allowed North Vietnam to launch its conventional ground offensive of 1975 when the USA no longer had the political will to unleash its air forces.

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We could usefully deploy ground attack aircraft, and indeed air mobile ground forces, for such a role. But can our leaders be trusted not apply their usual preference for image over substance? Might we not find ourselves chasing quotas rather than real targets in our urge to be seen to be doing our bit? The “We need a futile gesture at this stage” approach to war is all too possible.

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

A UK bombing campaign on Syria will not defeat Daesh/IS. It did not work in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. We must be cleverer than just following the USA and France.

We need to find out who is supplying IS with money, petrol, diesel, military hardware and vehicles, and then cut off all those supplies before they reach Syria. It is not a conventional war – Syria versus IS. It is not a uniformed state army against the allies. If we bomb, thousands more innocent civilians will die. We need to stop and think more about what we are doing, what is our plan for afterwards? We must learn from our mistakes.

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington.

WHAT a mess this country is in. Do we want mass murder of innocents in Syria or do we want peace by talks, without bombs dropping all over the place and a bloody swelling of killings across the world?

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

I HAVE generally tackled problems head on and as a result of not thinking things through have occasionally got the wrong result. This Government is making the same mistake. I think this Prime Minister is trying to be a Churchill or Thatcher without either the personality or experience to carry it off. While I can see the sense of ignoring the border between Iraq and Syria, I fail to see the end game. IS will just move elsewhere and continue its outrages.

Another outcome could well be that young Muslims in this country will be so enraged by the inevitable killing of innocent civilians as to want to join in the fight on the opposite side. The whole mess can be laid at the door of George W Bush and Tony Blair whose interference created the problems we now face.

Real keepers of the peace

From: D Wood, Howden.

MAY I be permitted to answer the question asked of me by James Bovington in his letter (The Yorkshire Post, November 27)? In his last paragraph, Mr Bovington infers that the European Union has been responsible for keeping the peace in Europe since the end of the Second World War.

This is, of course, a total myth and nothing more than the usual EU propaganda. The peace in Europe has been kept by Nato and the fact that the USA, Britain, Russia and France had armed forces stationed in Germany for many years.

Mr Bovington then tries to tell us how wonderful everything German is, but fails to mention that while Great Britain was left bankrupt by the Second World War, Germany was re-built, mainly by the Americans, and the Marshall Plan, which is why they have such nice transport systems.

A hub fit for our region?

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

IT seems we have George Osborne to thank for plans for a Yorkshire hub at Leeds Station (The Yorkshire Post, November 30). Have we at long last, moved into an era of joined-up thinking? Dare we hope that, long before the HS2 completion date, archaic feeder lines (Leeds – Harrogate – York is a classic) will be upgraded, and that Yorkshire’s biggest city will have a local public transport infrastructure fit to tempt us our of our air and road-choking cars? If not, the time saved on the Leeds-London trip will be lost in struggling to the station.

From: Julie Greatrex, Menston.

IF a high-speed rail line is so essential from Leeds to Manchester, why doesn’t the Government get on with it now rather than playing around with the electrification of the trans-Pennine rail route as a stop-gap?

From: Jonathan Flint, Otley.

IT is disappointing to see no mention, in reports about the so-called Leeds super-station, about the possibility of track capacity being increased so more local services can operate.