Leader: Flashing red lights on the global dashboard

​Whatever the arguments over airstrikes in Yemen, Cameron is right in saying the world has become more dangerous

Whatever one’s views on UK military action in Yemen, there is one thing the Foreign Secretary said yesterday that most people could agree upon: the world seems a more dangerous place now than it has been for a long time.

On the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Lord Cameron said it is “hard to remember a more unstable, dangerous and uncertain world” and that the “red lights on the global dashboard are very much flashing”, amid wars in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa.

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Most people could also agree there has to be some form of response to attacks on ships, including a Royal Navy vessel, in the Red Sea. Of course there are differences over what that response should be.

Lord Cameron said the US-UK air strikes on Yemen’s Houthi rebels are necessary because Houthis have ignored warnings and carried out attacks on shipping for months.

He is expected to make a statement in the House of Commons today defending the use of military action without parliamentary debate “for reasons of operational security”. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who is likely to be prime minister before the end of this year, has backed the operation as “action had to be taken” but added that he would consider whether to support further action “on its merit”.

The SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn warned against inflaming a “wider crisis” in the region and criticised the decision to launch the strikes without consulting MPs.

Lord Cameron denied the airstrikes against the Hamas-allied Houthis represented an escalation in the Israel-Gaza conflict, but it is hard to escape the conclusion this war has already spread.

Since Hamas’s brutal attack in southern Israel just over 100 days ago, the red lights in the global dashboard have now started flashing in Yemen and Hezbollah-controlled parts of Lebanon.

The UK and the US must focus their diplomatic efforts on persuading Iran to exert its influence in the region to help start turning some of those flashing lights off.

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