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Taliban 'going door to door' to search for Christians

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Following the US President’s decision to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan, the Taliban took over the country last Sunday. Mr Blair, former Prime Minister who took the UK into the war in Afghanistan, wrote in the Daily Express about Mr Biden’s “abandonment of Afghanistan”.

Earlier this year, Mr Biden announced all US forces would be withdrawn by August 31.

The US President has stayed unrepentant about his decision to end the 20-year-war, despite admitting the Taliban took over “more quickly than we anticipated”.

He blamed the Afghanistan military for the militants’ takeover, saying “the Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight”.

Mr Biden added: “Americans should not be fighting and dying in a war that the Afghan military is not willing to fight for itself.

“How many more American lives is it worth? How many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery?”

In an op-ed for the Express, Mr Blair called the decision to leave Afghanistan to the Taliban “tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours”.

He wrote: “20 years ago, following the slaughter of 3500 people in New York on September 11th, the world was in turmoil…

“We forget this now, but the world was spinning on its axis. We feared further attacks, possibly worse.

“The Taliban were given an ultimatum: yield up the Al Qaeda leadership or be removed from power so that Afghanistan could not be used for further attacks. They refused.

“We felt there was no safer alternative for our security than keeping our word. We held out the prospect backed by substantial commitment of turning Afghanistan from a failed terror state into a functioning democracy on the mend.

“It may have been a misplaced ambition, but it was not an ignoble one.”

After admitting his and future Prime Ministers “made mistakes, some serious”, Mr Blair said “we are in a mood which seems to regard the bringing of democracy as a utopian delusion and intervention virtually of any sort as a fool’s errand”.

He then skewered Mr Biden, and added: “The world is now uncertain of where the West stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in this way was driven not by grand strategy but by politics.

“We didn’t need to do it. 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 10 years ago, in circumstances in which troop numbers had declined to a minimum and no allied soldier had lost their life in combat for 18 months.“

Other former Prime Ministers have skewered the decision to pull out of Afghanistan in the manner Mr Biden has.

Attacking Boris Johnson for calling the operation in Afghanistan a success, Theresa May said: “Was our intelligence really so poor? Was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak?

“Was our knowledge on the ground so inadequate? Or did we just think we had to follow the United States and on a wing and a prayer it would be all right on the night?”

Gordon Brown and David Cameron have not commented on recent developments in Afghanistan.

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