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Former British PM Blair Blasts 'Unnecessary' Military Pullout From Afghanistan

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who took his country alongside the United States into war in Afghanistan in 2001, called the Western military pullout from the nation “dangerous” and “unnecessary.”

Blair on August 21 also warned that Russia, China, and Iran will “take advantage” of the Western military departure from the country after 21 years of war and terror attacks.

Blair made the comments in a statement posted on his foundation website, The Tony Blair Foundation for Global Change.

"The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours," he stated in his first public comments on the crisis since the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban takeover.

He added that “the question posed by allies and enemies alike is: Has the West lost its strategic will?”

“Russia, China, and Iran will see and take advantage. Anyone given commitments by Western leaders will understandably regard them as unstable currency,” he wrote.

“As the leader of our country when we took the decision to join the United States in removing the Taliban from power -- and who saw the high hopes we had of what we could achieve for the people and the world subside under the weight of bitter reality -- I know better than most how difficult the decisions of leadership are, and how easy it is to be critical and how hard to be constructive.”

He urged that the West "evacuate and give sanctuary to those to whom we have responsibility -- those Afghans who helped us, stood by us, and have a right to demand we stand by them."

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