Tony Blair was right about Gordon Brown. Today we have confirmation of the bitterness and disagreements at the top of the Blair government. All that spinning and all those stories turn out to have been well founded.
Tony Blair was wrong about the Middle East. He still thinks there are military solutions to Middle Eastern problems which the US and her allies can impose from without. At a time when both the US and UK administrations are learning the limits to the effects of military power in Afghanistan, Tony Blair tells us to prepare for the even bigger task of stopping Iran having nuclear weapons.
He may well be right that the world will be an even more difficult place if Iran holds nuclear weapons. That does not mean the west has the power or the right to bomb or invade Iran to stop her. The Iranian government may well be speaking for many people in the country in seeking such an armoury. Bombing installations will kill civilians nearby and may not remove all the offending stockpiles and work in progress. Invasion would entail taking on a hostile people as well as a hostile government. Bungling any such pre-emptive strike would intensify the feelings of hostility to the west.
Mr Obama is stressing again the short term nature of his surge in Afghanistan. Presumably the UK Coalition governemnt would agree in private that withdrawal from Afghanistan would be one of the most popular spending cuts they can make. The appetite for military adventure in the Middle East is waning in both the UK and the US. Over borrowed high spending governments need to rein back. They should heed their electors. Mr Blair’s views on this topic come from a different age. His belief in the efficacy of using force is an unhelpful guide to the future.