British people used to be proud of what our country stood for. But Britainâ€™s reputation has been damaged by dodgy arms deals with dictators, allegations of involvement in torture, and of course the disastrous and illegal invasion of Iraq.
Liberal Democrats will put British values of decency and the rule of law back at the heart of our foreign policy. We will always put the countryâ€™s security first. But the national interest demands that we work with allies, stand up for human rights, and help people in the poorest parts of the world.
Liberal Democrats believe that by working closely with our allies, Britain will have more influence on tackling international problems like poverty, climate change and terrorism. We want to see rules upheld and international law observed. To meet the challenges of economic globalisation, international terrorism and climate change, we must work effectively with our partners in the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and the WTO.
Time is running out for the mission in Afghanistan. Unless we change direction, failure is inevitable. We should be encouraging a regional peace process working towards a ceasefire and ultimately a political and constitutional settlement within Afghanistan. A strategy of political reconciliation is now necessary. A â€œpolitical surgeâ€ which engages with moderates and wins them over must now be implemented. While there can be no purely military solution, our troops must be given everything they need to do their job effectively.
We will establish a full and independent public inquiry into allegations of British government involvement in torture. We will make tough rules on corruption and arms sales. We want the inquiry into the Iraq war to be open, with all meetings held in public except for reasons of national security. We also want a full judicial inquiry into British collusion in torture and â€œextraordinary renditionâ€.
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