Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has wrapped up his second year’s fellowship at Yale University. At an event on campus on Thursday, Blair expressed support for President Obama’s war strategy in Afghanistan. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.
When he spoke at Yale one year ago, Tony Blair offered foreign policy advice to then-incoming President Barack Obama. He said “Listen and Lead”. Now, a year later, Blair says Obama is doing his job.
"I think an example of listening would be the Cairo speech where he reached out to the Islamic world. I think an example of leading is what he’s just decided with respect to Afghanistan."
Blair says when there are deliberate attempts to destabilize a nation like Afghanistan, dialogue is important:
"...But you also need to make it clear that where people are confronting the will of the, not just the international community but the will of the people in these countries by violence and terror, you’re prepared to stand up to it."
He says this is especially true in today’s interdependent world.
"As we have found with Afghanistan, a problem there does not stop there. It came in the end to us and that’s why we’re there and that’s why, in my view, you have to see it through."
He says he’ll urge European leaders to partner with America in Afghanistan. Tony Blair has been co-teaching a course at Yale on Faith and Globalization. He joined University President Richard Levin and Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico for a conversation before about 1,200 students and faculty.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.