New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
22 September 2014updated 23 Jul 2021 11:18am

Islamic State: Tony Blair says the UK should not rule out ground troops

The former Prime Minister warns that the only way to tackle Islamic State could be on the ground.

By Anoosh Chakelian

We’ve seen Gordon Brown’s renaissance in recent weeks, and now it’s Tony Blair’s turn. Though it seems when weighing in on the situation in the Middle East, he never really went away. Much to the frustration of many in light of his own ill-fated invasion of Iraq over a decade ago.

His latest intervention is a warning to the UK government that the only way it can really tackle Islamic State (also known as Isis) is by using ground troops.

He said that, at some point, “someone’s boots on the ground” would be a necessary tactic:

I’m not saying we in the West need to do this; it would be better if it were done by those people closer to the ground who have got the most immediate and direct interests in fighting them.

But I don’t think we can in all circumstances rule it out and after all we do have the force capability to do this.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Blair’s words will be greeted with some anger and cynicism by his detractors, considering the latest crisis in Iraq and Syria has been partially blamed on his bungled conflict in the area. However, if David Cameron really meant his words last week that the UK would “hunt down” murdered British hostage David Haines’ killers, Blair does well to remind the government that there are perhaps more pressing international concerns than the West Lothian Question.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy