Tony Blair calls for new front against Russia in Africa
The former Prime Minister points to Wagner Group activities in the Sahel
Tony Blair has called on the West to take the fight against Russia to Africa. Writing for the Telegraph, the former Prime Minister argued that the West needs a “broader strategy” to resist Russian aggression by providing support to the continent. “Watch the Sahel,” Blair writes. “It will be the source of the next wave of extremism and migration to Europe if we do not coordinate and focus Western policy.”
Until now, the former Labour leader’s interventions on Ukraine had been relatively limited, with calls for a “dual strategy” in which the West should provide as much military support (short of fighting directly) combined with tough sanctions, so that Ukraine would have “leverage” for a negotiated solution. Blair re-asserts his case in today’s column, arguing that “there is too big a lag between realising what weapons and munitions the Ukrainians need and our supply of them.” But his desire to open up a new front in Africa marks a change in his thinking.
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Since leaving office, Blair has advocated for Britain to open a “new chapter” in the country’s relationship with Africa. The Tony Blair Institute provides ‘advisory political support’ to at least 17 governments across Africa, calling for deepening ties with the continent. But in the last year, the Institute has taken an increasingly strident tone, warning that “escalating tensions with Russia” mean that the West could lose influence in Africa. According to the Institute, Putin considers Africa a “so-called second frontier, after Eastern Europe, for encircling Western Europe.” “By framing Russia’s interventions on the continent as the return of an old anti-colonial ally or bulwark against extremism,” it continues, “Russia’s intentions become an extension of Putin’s imperialist ambitions.”
Whether Mr Blair’s calls for further Western action on the continent will be welcomed by African leaders remains to be seen. Since 2014, Russia has expanded its reach in Africa through a series of security and defensive alliances, supplying weapons to buyers and providing protection against armed insurgents. At yesterday’s UN resolution vote calling for an end to the war, two African countries (Eritrea and Mali) voted against while a further 15 abstained. Though a majority of African countries voted in favour of the resolution, it illustrates the difficult balancing act that the continent is playing in response to the war.
Full excerpt from Tony Blair’s column below:
Now we need to expand the conflict with Russia? Hmm. What exactly is Russia doing in Africa? Are they over throwing govts with mercenaries? First I’ve heard of it.
Here’s a thought? Why don’t we invest some money in Africa and help them develop their resources. China has been doing it for more than a decade with its belts and roads program. While we lecture Africa about climate change and choke off finance for energy projects, China is using investment to leverage influence.
Guys like Blair and Biden are clowns. Not only do they want to destroy the economies of the west, it looks like they want to take us to the brink of nuclear war.
Mr. Veenbaas, I would guess that you are American. If that assumption is wrong, I apologise, but my response will assume that you are.
You Americans have been here before. By ‘here’, I mean supporting another country in its fight against aggressive tyranny. The American government gave this support in the face of the misgivings of millions of Americans. No, I’m not talking about Vietnam, but my country, Britain.
Hitler’s conquest of France in 1940 horrified Roosevelt’s government. Until then, America had relied on the strength of the British navy and the French army to keep America’s enemies at bay. With the fall of France, there was a real possibility Britain would sue for peace, and that would leave the Americas wide open to German mischief-making and encroachment. Britain _had_ to be kept in the war, and supported with everything America had. Hence the lease-lend programme.
At that time, the ‘America First’ movement, headed by Lindbergh, was very strong. Roosevelt had to tread very carefully, especially with the presidential election in November 1940 looming. But he did it. Just before Pearl Harbor, American warships were helping the hard-pressed British and Canadian navies to guard the transatlantic convoys that kept Britain fed and armed.
We all have cause to be grateful for Roosevelt’s far-sightedness, determination and courage. Had he taken the easy way out, the modern world would be very different, and infinitely nastier, than it is now.
A man who agreed to war with USA against Iraq on completely fabricated premise, shortly after digital laws changed across the west enabling targeting and revoked data laws to see citizens data, and this was not an illegal war! Anything Blair states is part of the WEF coup, our sovereignty is under real threat, my great grand father lost his life to fight for freedom, “lest we forget” how can anyone not see what is happening.
I’m currently in Windhoek, Namibia.
One of the main streets here is Robert Mugabe avenue. So named because Bob was a big supporter of their freedom struggle.
The main museum of that struggle was built by the North Koreans, partially because of the relationship with Bob, mainly in return for secret sales of Uranium to them (swiftly stopped when the Americans found out about it.)
The western world has no understanding of what’s going on in Africa or, really much outside the modern west
Interestingly Jill Biden seems to be here at the moment. Every time I venture on to the roads I get stopped for ages at some junction while the entourage goes by.
Most of the world lives well outside the western media bubble. Probably a blessing.
I’m no fan of Tony Blair by any means, but in this instance he is absolutely right. Moreover, it’s not just Russia we are up against, but China.
We need to raise our game. The Russians and Chinese have an inbuilt advantage over us, in that they are not remotely bothered about lecturing (and annoying) African leaders about human rights. Nor are they much interested in corruption, rigged elections or nepotism. We need to be more hard-headed and realistic about what we can achieve.
But that begs the question: what _do_ we want to achieve in Africa?
Tony Blair and his grift operation are not to be trusted.
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