Having largely sailed through this year’s choppy (to say the least) geopolitical waters, markets are a little discomfited by U.S. air strikes in Syria targeting Islamic State militants … though only a little.
The U.S. military said Monday’s onslaught was just the start, suggesting it could take years to “degrade and destroy” the group, as Washington puts it. It remains to be seen how effective air attacks alone, which have been conducted in Iraq for some time already, will be in that regard.
Many of the potential protagonists will be at the United Nations General Assembly in New York where President Barack Obama will try to rally more nations behind his drive to take on IS.
Largely for domestic political reasons, Britain – usually the first to act in tandem with Washington – has not been involved so far. But with the Scottish referendum out of the way that could change.
Prime Minister David Cameron will meet Iraq’s new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, today. The UK parliament may well be recalled to vote on action. With Iraq asking for help, there is no legal impediment there. But strikes in Syria are a greyer area.
More generally, the beheading of hostages appears to have shifted European opinion which had been firmly opposed to intervention since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.