The Guardian reports:
Tony Blair has warned that the return of the Taliban will see “every jihadist group round the world cheering”, as he said that there was now a moral obligation for Western troops to stay until all those eligible are evacuated from Afghanistan.
I agree, and we should immediately announce we will take 1,000 refugees from Afghanistan on top of our normal quota.
In a lengthy essay published on his website last night, the former prime minister who ordered British troops to join the US-led invasion said that the hasty withdrawal had been a “tragic, dangerous, unnecessary” decision that undermined the West’s aims. He accused US President Biden of being motivated by “an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars’, as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or even 10 years ago”.
Imbecilic is a bit undiplomatic!
I heard on a US podcast that no US serviceperson had died in Afghanistan in the last 15 months and this is correct. Over 20 years there have been 2,500 killed but in recent years there was a form of stability that had seen few US casualties. The data since 2015 is:
- 2015: 10
- 2016: 9
- 2017: 11
- 2018: 13
- 2019: 17
- 2020: 4
- 2021: 0
Even those wounded has only totalled three since February 2021.
Biden’s overall approval rating has fallen to under 50% for the first time and that specifically with reference to Afghanistan only 31% approve of his handling.