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‘Imbecilic, tragic, unnecessary’ – Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair slams Joe Bidenâs decision to leave Afghanistan
Former UK prime minister, Tony Blair has blasted US president, Joe Biden’s ‘imbecilic’ decision to leave Afghanistan.
According to Tony Blair the US’ military exit was not in the West or Afghanistan’s interest.
Blair who took the UK to war in the country 20 years ago, called the pull out ‘tragic, dangerous and unnecessary’, adding that the move had ‘every Jihadist group round the world cheering’.
In a 2,700 word article on the threat of ‘radical Islam’, Blair said there will be a reversal of gains made during the occupation, with the Taliban reasserting itself across most of the country in recent days.
As the clock runs down on the August 31 deadline, he said Britain has a ‘moral obligation’ to stay until ‘all those who need to be are evacuated’.
He then issued a stark warning to current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the manner of the US’s handling of the exit indicated that the UK could be relegated from the top division of international powers, with reports that Britain was largely kept in the dark about when American armed forces would leave.
Blair said: ‘For Britain, out of Europe and suffering the end of the Afghanistan mission by our greatest ally with little or no consultation, we have serious reflection to do.
‘We don’t see it yet, but we are at risk of relegation to the second division of global powers.’
Blair urged for there to be ‘no repetition of arbitrary deadlines’ – a reference to Washington’s Doha agreement with the Taliban, committing to vacate Afghanistan before the 9/11 anniversary .
Blair said: ‘We must evacuate and give sanctuary to those to whom we have responsibility – those Afghans who helped us and stood by us and have a right to demand we stand by them.
‘There must be no repetition of arbitrary deadlines.
‘We have a moral obligation to keep at it until all those who need to be are evacuated.
‘And we should do so not grudgingly but out of a deep sense of humanity and responsibility.’
Blair then defended his own decision making in 2001 when he worked with former US president George Bush and Nato allies to avenge the New York World Trade Centre attack by invading Afghanistan.
‘There is no doubt that in the years that followed we made mistakes, some serious.
‘But the reaction to our mistakes have been unfortunately further mistakes.
‘Today we are in a mood which seems to regard the bringing of democracy as a utopian delusion and intervention virtually of any sort as a fool’s errand.
‘The world is now uncertain of where the West stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in this way was driven not by grand strategy but by politics.
‘We didn’t need to do it. We chose to do it.
‘We did it in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending “the forever wars”, as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or even 10 years ago, in circumstances in which troop numbers had declined to a minimum and no allied soldier had lost their life in combat for 18 months.’
‘We need to draw up a list of incentives, sanctions, actions we can take including to protect the civilian population so the Taliban understand their actions will have consequences.
‘This is urgent. The disarray of the past weeks needs to be replaced by something resembling coherence and with a plan that is credible and realistic.’
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