Tony Blair calls for more UK counter-terrorism measures
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During a speech at the Royal United Services Institute to mark the anniversary of 9/11, Tony Blair gave a rambling speech on the fall of Afghanistan as he set about offering a string of solutions to combat “entrenched threats” posed by Islamist Extremism across the World. The former Prime Minister insisted that a military presence was necessary to combat such a threat and demanded continued military involvement in regions where extremism persists. He went on to peg the blame for the growth of extreme interpretations of Islam not on western intervention but on countries such as Iran who he accused of harbouring extremist ideologies before suggesting a combination of “hard and soft” diplomacy to tackle the issue.
Mr Blair said: “Counter-terrorism on its own won’t remove an entrenched threat.
“We could seek a middle course, for example in the Sahel we could adopt a strategy of assisting countries with security but also supporting the Government’s own attempts at delving their nations – because poverty and underdevelopment undoubtedly facilitate the extremists.
“In a way, this is what we did in Afghanistan post-2014.
“But even here this will likely encompass more than conventional counter-terrorism.”
But in a sobering statement, Mr Blair insisted: “We need some boots on the ground. Naturally our preference is for the boots to be local but that will not always be possible.
“Western societies and their political leaders have become quite understandably deeply averse to causalities amongst our armed forces. This is not a problem for the armed forces themselves who are brave and extraordinary people.
“But it is now an overwhelming political constraint to any commitment to any boots on the ground except for special forces.
“Yet the problem this gives rise to is obvious – if the enemy that we are fighting knows that there are more casualties they inflict, the more our political will erodes. Then the incentive structure is plain.”
More to follow…
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