Former prime minister Tony Blair has criticised incumbent US President Joe Biden’s “ending forever wars” slogan implying it is misleading and ill thought out.
Writing in an article for his think tank, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, he said: “We didn’t need to [leave Afghanistan]; 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 ten years ago, and 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 did it in the knowledge that though worse than imperfect, and though immensely fragile, there were real gains over the past 20 years.
“And for anyone who disputes that, read the heartbreaking laments from every section of Afghan society as to what they fear will now be lost.
“Gains in living standards, education particularly of girls, gains in freedom.
“Not nearly what we hoped or wanted, but not nothing.
“Something worth defending – worth protecting.”