Downing Steet Paper: Military Action in Iraq and Afghanistan Served as Recruiting Sergeant For Terrorist Groups

George Bush claims that we must fight the terrorists in Iraq so that we don’t have to fight them here, but in reality it is the fighting in Iraq which is fueling the threat of terrorism. In public Tony Blair might repeat Bush’s lines, but in private they know better. The Telegraph reports on a classified paper from Downing Street (emphasis mine):

Tony Blair’s claim that there is no link between Britain’s foreign policy and terrorist attacks in this country is blown apart by a secret cabinet memo revealed today.

A classified paper written by senior Downing Street officials says that everything Britain does overseas for the next decade must have the ultimate aim of reducing “terror activity, especially that in or directed against the UK”.

The memo, circulated in recent weeks to ministers and security chiefs and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, outlines an extraordinary “wish list” of how the Government would like world troublespots to look in 10 years’ time. It also signals a drive to reduce Britain’s military commitments around the globe.

It admits that, in an ideal world, “the Muslim would not perceive the UK and its foreign policies as hostile” – effectively accepting the argument that Britain’s military action in Iraq and Afghanistan has served as a recruiting sergeant for Islamist terrorist groups. Publicly, Mr Blair has resisted this line fiercely. During his final speech as leader to Labour’s annual conference last month, he described such claims as “enemy propaganda”.

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