Tony Blair: Afghanistan exit gives opportunities to UK’s enemies

The UK and other countries should “commit for the long term” in places such as アフガニスタン, Tony Blair has argued, claiming the chaotic withdrawal would provide opportunities for hostile countries and organisations.

The former prime minister, who published a lengthy article late on Saturday night calling the decision to withdraw troops “tragic, dangerous, unnecessary”, used broadcast interviews on Sunday to say the subsequent threat affected not just the Afghan people but also UK security.

“The problem is that the west has to understand that, when we do something like this, the signal it sends out is one of inconstancy. In the world we have today, you’ve got sometimes to commit for the long term,” argued Blair, who was prime minister when UK troops arrived in Afghanistan 20 数年前.

“Even if it becomes unpopular from time to time in public opinion, your job then, as leader, is to go out and explain why it’s necessary, despite that, to hold firm.

"なぜなら, when you don’t hold firm, then those people who are opposed to you – whether these are Islamist groups or Russia, 中国, イラン, all of whom will move into the vacuum we’ve created – all those people who are not on our side and who don’t wish us well are going to gain by it.”

The UK and US had been in a position in which “we could have managed the situation”, Blair said, warning that the impact could be directly felt by the UK.

“The problem with what’s happened now is that it’s not just about the Afghan people and our obligation to them, it’s about us and our security," 彼は言った.

“Because you’ve now got this group [the Taliban] back in charge of Afghanistan. They will give protection and succour to al-Qaida. You’ve got Isis already in the country trying to operate at the same time. You look round the world and the only people really cheering this decision are the people hostile to western interests.”

It was now necessary for the UK and other G7 countries to work out how to limit this security threat, 彼は言った.

Blair said: “We need to be drawing up a list of incentives and sanctions and other things we can do in order to use the leverage we have, which is not insignificant. The Taliban will find that governing is a lot harder than they thought. The population of Afghanistan is different.

“There’s going to be a lot that we can still do but it’s important that we mobilise now after the disarray, 率直に言って, of the last few weeks, that we mobilise as the leading countries and make it clear that we still understand we have an obligation in our own interests to try to resolve this situation and to put as much pressure on the government in Afghanistan as possible to make sure that we don’t end up either with a security threat in play for us or with the Afghan people losing the gains they’ve made over the last 20 年。」

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