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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who joined America in the invasion of Afghanistan after the 2001 terror attacks, is blasting President Joe Biden’s bungled exit from the country as “imbecilic” and a boon to both jihadist and Western enemies across the world.
“The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours,” Blair wrote on his Web site on Sunday.
The ex-Labour Party leader said the American withdrawal plan had been conducted “in a manner that seems almost designed to parade our humiliation” and “the question posed by allies and enemies alike is: has the West lost its strategic will?”
Blair specifically and sharply attacked the “forever wars” slogan used by Biden to justify the withdrawal, saying it ignored gains made by the West over 20 years and the fact that a small American presence could easily have kept Afghanistan stable.
“We didn’t need to do it. We chose to do it,” he wrote. “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.”
Blair urged the British military to stay engaged until every Afghan who needed to be evacuated is able to flee the country.
He added the exit would embolden jihadist and Western adversaries for years to come.
“Russia, China and Iran will see and take advantage. Anyone given commitments by Western leaders will understandably regard them as unstable currency,” he wrote.
“We need then to work out a means of dealing with the Taliban and exerting maximum pressure on them” he added. “This is not as empty as it seems. We have given up much of our leverage, but we retain some. The Taliban will face very difficult decisions and likely divide deeply over them.”
White House to send more than $300 million in aid to Afghanistan despite Taliban control
The White House announced plans Tuesday to send more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan as millions face starvation under the new Taliban government following President Joe Biden’s withdrawal.
The assistance would be given by the United States Agency for International Development through “independent humanitarian organizations” to the Afghan people, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.
The administration has been criticized for sending aid to Afghanistan previously. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned that it would be “foolish” and asserted that the Taliban “would take the money.”
“This brings total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $782 million since October 2021, and we remain the single largest donor of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan,” Horne said, adding that the U.S. has also given 4.3 million COVID-19 doses to the Afghan people.
Assistance will “help provide lifesaving protection and shelter, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by COVID-19 and healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the winter season,” Horne said.
China sent assistance to Afghanistan last month to help the nation prepare for winter and build ties between the Chinese Communist Party and the new jihadist government.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people and we continue to consider all options available to us,” Horne concluded. “We stand with the people of Afghanistan.”
ARTICLE: Fort Hood soldier found dead behind barracks
The soldier was identified as Spc. Maxwell Hockin, who was assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He entered the Army in March 2017 as a combat engineer, Fort Hood officials said Wednesday.
Hockin’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, officials said.
Hockin had been at the Texas base since July 2017, where he was assigned to the 91st Engineer Battalion.
“The entire Saber family is devastated by the loss of our true teammate and friend Specialist Maxwell Hockin,” Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander, 91st Engineer Battalion, said in a statement Wednesday. “He had an outstanding work ethic, was a mentor to his peers, and was always willing to help out the team. He will truly be missed. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Maxwell’s family during this difficult time.”
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A good question How many American are still in Afghanistan… those who should know don’t.
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