Tony Blair takes a swipe at Joe Biden over Afghanistan exit

Tony Blair takes a swipe at Joe Biden as he says the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will give the West’s enemies ‘a belief our time is over’

  • Tony Blair today took a swipe at Joe Biden over US withdrawal from Afghanistan
  • Ex-PM said US decided it has a ‘very limited appetite for military engagement’
  • Withdrawal from global stage will give ‘opponents a belief our time is over’ 

Tony Blair today took a swipe at Joe Biden as he said the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will embolden the West’s enemies and give them a ‘belief our time is over’. 

The former prime minister said ‘it is clear now’ the US has decided that for the ‘foreseeable future’ it has a ‘very limited appetite for military engagement’.

Mr Blair suggested Europe and NATO should therefore ‘develop the capability to act’ when the US is ‘unwilling’. 

He suggested the US and the West more widely now seems to be focused on ‘short term political imperatives’ which have ‘squeezed the space’ for ‘long term thinking’. 

The apparent retreat from the world stage ‘gives our allies anxiety and our opponents a belief our time is over’. 

Tony Blair today took a swipe at Joe Biden as he said the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will embolden the West’s enemies and give them a ‘belief our time is over’

 The former prime minister said ‘it is clear now’ that the US under Mr Biden has decided that for the ‘foreseeable future’ it has a ‘very limited appetite for military engagement’

Mr Biden has faced criticism over his handling of the US exit from Afghanistan after he stuck to his withdrawal deadline of August 31 despite pleas from the UK and other NATO allies to give evacuation efforts more time. 

The apparent refusal to listen to the concerns of allies has sparked claims that British foreign policy is now at a ‘crossroads’ after decades of being tightly linked to the US. 

Delivering a speech to the Royal United Services Institute military think tank to mark 20 years since the 9/11 terror attacks in the US, Mr Blair said Western society and its leaders ‘have become quite understandably, deeply averse to casualties’. 

He argued this is an ‘overwhelming political constraint to any commitment to Western boots on the ground, except for Special Forces’.

Mr Blair said this created an ‘obvious’ problem because ‘if the enemy we’re fighting knows that the more casualties they inflict, the more our political will to fight erodes, then the incentive structure is plain’.

He continued: ‘There is an additional challenge for Europe and NATO. It is clear now – if it wasn’t before – that America has decided that for the foreseeable future, it has a very limited appetite for military engagement.’

Mr Blair said Europe and NATO must now consider the question of how to respond to international crises if the US is ‘unwilling’ to do so.   

He said: ‘Answering these questions, at least confronting them, would also reinvigorate Western policy-makers capacity to think strategically. 

‘For me, one of the most alarming developments of recent times, has been the sense that the West lacks the capacity to formulate strategy. That its short term political imperatives have simply squeezed the space for long term thinking.

‘It is this sense more than anything else, in my judgement, which gives our allies anxiety and our opponents a belief our time is over.’

Source: Read Full Article