12 Oct Afghanistan – a bloodier disgrace than Iraq:
Blair’s tragically flawed mission to rebuild shattered terror state
Blair decided he wanted to go to Afghanistan without consulting top brass. Announcement was out of the blue to military chiefs and Defence Secretary.
From the outset, the mission was flawed – but the military supported PM
Without consulting either his Defence Secretary or the military top brass, Blair had already made up his mind. Summoning them for a meeting, he declared: ‘I want to go to Afghanistan.’
The announcement seemed to come out of the blue. Had he thought it through? After all, with troops still dying in Iraq, British forces were already overstretched.
But Blair wasn’t interested in this line of thought. ‘We’re doing it,’ he insisted.
Without consulting either his Defence Secretary or the military top brass, Tony Blair had already made up his mind about sending British troops to Afghanistan. Pictured: British soldiers in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The year was 2004. Once again, the Prime Minister wasn’t bothering with the traditional channels before making a commitment overseas. There’d be no proper debate at the Ministry of Defence or Foreign Office, and no Cabinet committee had been tasked to examine his objectives.
According to Downing Street, British troops would protect Nato teams as they reconstructed Afghanistan — still in chaos following the post 9/11 American bombings.
The aim was to create new education and legal systems, transforming the country within three years. As a secondary objective, the UK military would destroy the local narcotics trade, a Blairite passion.