UK lawmaker admits Iraq, Afghan war plans based on 'primitive understanding' of Islam

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 10:30 hrs

A British lawmaker has admitted for the first time that a 'primitive understanding' of the Islamic world caused some of the problems faced by the west in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jim Murphy, the Shadow Defence Secretary, will suggest in a speech today that the Blair government did not appreciate what it was getting itself into after the September 11 attacks, as British forces joined the international effort to overthrow the Taliban and hunt down Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

According to the Guardian, Murphy will stop short of saying Labour was wrong to have supported the invasions.

But he will say Cameron is in danger of ignoring lessons from the past in his analysis of the jihadist threat in Mali and Algeria, the paper said.

In particular, he will criticise the prime minister for a speech in which he said the UK faces a 'generational struggle' against Islamist-inspired terrorism in the region, the paper added.

According to the paper, Murphy will say that 'ignorance caused many of the difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan,' and now is the time to 'assess lessons from recent history'.

An almost primitive understanding of the Afghan population, culture and geography prior to NATOs intervention severely undermined international attempts to work with proxies, and our political strategy was in its conception insufficiently representative, he will say.

The paper also said that Murphy will admit that it 'took too long for us to see the training of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police as a strategic priority.' (ANI)

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