LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Friday criticised Donald Trump’s view of the world after the US president’s announcement of a withdrawal of American troops from the fight against the militant Islamic State group in Syria.
“President Trump makes a speciality of talking in very black and white terms about what’s happening in the world,” Hunt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We have made massive progress in the war against Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS), but it’s not over and, although they have lost nearly all the territory they held, they still hold some territory and there is still some real risk,” he said.
“We have to continue to be vigilant,” he added.
Trump announced the pullout last week, stunning allies including Britain and France who warned that the fight against jihadists in Syria was not finished.
Some 2,000 US troops, joined by other foreign forces, have been assisting local fighters battling against IS.
Britain takes part in the coalition by carrying out air strikes in IS-held areas in Iraq and Syria.
During a visit to Iraq this week, Trump declared an end to the US role of being the world’s “policeman”.
“We don’t want to be taken advantage of any more by countries that use us and use our incredible military to protect them,” he said.
Asked what would happen if US troops also withdrew from Afghanistan, Hunt said: “We will continue to do everything we need to do to make sure the streets of Britain are safe.
“This is a security issue for the UK as well as for Afghanistan,” he said.
Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2018