Blair says Taliban won't return

Sept. 24, 2012 at 3:01 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed doubt Monday Taliban forces in Afghanistan would return to power when U.S.-led forces leave.

Speaking on the NBC's "Today" show, Blair said of the Taliban, "I don't believe they will come back in power," crediting the additional 30,000 U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan at the end of 2009 for shoring up security in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

He also dismissed current anti-American protests in the Middle East, noting that thousands in Libya are denouncing the protests and praising the United States.

"If I were you in America, I would not worry about being loved. That's not your role in the world. Your role is to be strong, and you are strong," Blair said.

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