Tony Blair, the British prime minister who sent troops to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago, says “every Jihadist group round the world cheering” after the U.S. decided to withdraw from the country.

In a lengthy essay published Aug. 21, on his website, the former Labour Party leader warned that the sudden and chaotic withdrawal that allowed the Taliban to reclaim power risked undermining everything that had been accomplished in Afghanistan over the previous two decades, including advancements in living standards and girls’ education.

“The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours,” Blair wrote.

“The world is now uncertain of where the West stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in this way was driven not by grand strategy but by politics,” he continued.

According to New York Post, he also accused President Joe Biden of trying to follow “an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘forever wars,’ as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or even 10 years ago.’”

He said Britain has a “moral obligation” to remain in Afghanistan, “We must evacuate and give sanctuary to those to whom we have responsibility—those Afghans who helped us and stood by us and have a right to demand we stand by them,” he said. “There must be no repetition of arbitrary deadlines. We have a moral obligation to keep at it until all those who need to be are evacuated. And we should do so not grudgingly but out of a deep sense of humanity and responsibility.”

With a U.S.–imposed Aug. 31 deadline coming, Britain, like other nations, is attempting to evacuate Afghan allies and its citizens from Afghanistan.

Blair claimed that the United States and its Western partners were motivated in Afghanistan by the desire to transform the country from a “failed terror state” to a “functioning democracy on the mend.”

“Today we are in a mood that seems to regard the bringing of democracy as a utopian delusion and intervention, virtually of any sort, as a fool’s errand,” he said.

Blair also cautioned that the United States’ decision to keep Britain mainly in the dark about the withdrawal risked relegating Britain to the “second division of global powers.”

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