Blair calls for ground in­va­sion

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

ISIS will be de­feated only with a ground war in­volv­ing Western troops, for­mer Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair has said. Blair said airstrikes alone wouldn’t de­feat the mil­i­tants. In­stead, “you are go­ing to have to go and wage a proper ground war against them”, with Bri­tish, Amer­i­can and other Western troops play­ing a sup­port­ing role. “The armed forces of Amer­ica, the UK, France, other ma­jor coun­tries have both ex­pe­ri­ence and ca­pa­bil­ity so even if we are us­ing them in sup­port of lo­cal forces, you have just got to de­cide what our ob­jec­tive is,” Blair said at dis­cus­sion on for­eign af­fairs in London yes­ter­day. “Is our ob­jec­tive to de­feat this en­emy? My an­swer to that is yes.” Blair’s de­ci­sion to take Bri­tain into the US-led in­va­sion of Iraq in 2003 re­mains deeply di­vi­sive, and Iraq is mired in vi­o­lence. Blair is likely to be crit­i­cised in a long-de­layed re­port on the war and its af­ter­math that will be pub­lished in July. Blair, who left of­fice in 2007, ac­knowl­edged the in­vad­ing na­tions had un­der­es­ti­mated the “forces of desta­bil­i­sa­tion” that would emerge in Iraq af­ter the top­pling of Sad­dam Hus­sein.

WAR OF WORDS: Tony Blair

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