Daily US Times: Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has described Washington’s decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan as “imbecilic”. He said thi in his first public statement since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban last Sunday.
He said on his website that the abandonment of Afghanistan and its people was “tragic, dangerous, unnecessary”.
Mr Blair led the United Kingdom when it invaded Afghanistan alongside the US in 2001, following the 11 September attacks.
He said the exit of allied forces would have Jihadist groups “cheering”.
The former Labour leader also said that the UK has a “moral obligation” to stay in Afghanistan until “all those who need to be are evacuated”.
He 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.”
Mr Blair added that this shouldn’t be done “grudgingly but out of a deep sense of humanity and responsibility.”
The former British Prime Minister said the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan had been driven by politics, describing it as “in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars'” – a phrase used by US President Joe Biden during his election campaign.
The US has a planned deadline of 31 August for withdrawing all its troops – but President Joe Biden has said troops may stay past this date to help with evacuations.