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Call for ground troops against IS
22 Sep 2014 12:12
Britain and other Western powers should be prepared to commit ground troops to fight against extremists such as the Islamic State group, former prime minister Tony Blair has said.
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According to Mr Blair, air strikes alone will not be enough to defeat IS or similar groups.
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He said that while training and equipping local fighters may work, the option of sending in combat soldiers should not be ruled out.
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Mr Blair, whose premiership came to be defined by the Iraq War, acknowledged there was "no appetite" for ground engagement against IS.
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But he warned: "You cannot uproot this extremism unless you go to where it originates from and fight it."
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He said the struggle against Islamist extremism should be seen as an international fight rather than a series of isolated conflicts, comparing it to the fascist and communist ideologies of the last century.
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In an essay on his website, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Mr Blair also stressed the importance of engaging with a wider spectrum of radical Islamism, not just the violent fringe.
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