Tony Blair visits Afghanistan


Tony Blair talking in the press coference he gave in his recent visit to Afghanistan in November 2006.

British English

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Look, I think it's important to realize that for the Taliban and for Alquaida and those organizations that are connected with them, I don't think that we should be surprised that they fight back.

This is, after all, for them, to have been ousted from the government of Afghanistan .. was a major defeat. Of course, they will try to get back in, they will try to use links with the drugs trade indeed to do that.

But when people put the difficult news to me, back home I often say if your enemy is fighting you, and they are our enemy, then what's your response? Your response should be to fight them back, even harder, with more determination.

I mean, this is always a difficult thing to get across, but the most important thing to get across is a sense of balance. I mean, I don't think anybody disputes the challenges that there are here because of the desire of the Taliban to fight back, we just mentioned the drugs trade, there's obviouly really difficult issues.

On the other hand, we shouldn't then say well that's the whole picture, there's nothing good that happening because that's not true either. And I think if you see not just the growth in the economy but actually the change in a city like Kabul, if you think that the Taliban believed that this year they were going to be able to take back control in Helmud, they have been unable to do so.

There are also things that are happening in reconstruction and development that are of a very positive nature, so you've got to .. you've got to balance it up.

But I think the most important thing for us, and here is where I think, you know, a few years back, you know, I think there was a sense in the international community, well, maybe, you know, you drive out the Taliban, you change the government in Kabul, there's an election, a political process .. I think we are wiser now to the fact that as I've been saying in the recent weeks, this is a generation long struggle.


I don't think that we should be surprised that they fight back
Meaning defend themselves
Examples The guards could not fight back because they were outnumbered.
Particle back means in reciprocate an action


they will try to get back in
Meaning regain control of the government
Examples If the Conservatives got back in, they would slash spending on social services.
Particle back in means be in charge again


the most important thing to get across is a sense of balance
Meaning the message should be a sense of balance
Examples I'm not sure what point you're trying to get across here.
Particle across means communication


they were going to be able to take back control in Helmud
Meaning regain control
Examples The Democrats took back control of the lower chamber by capturing more than 25 seats held by Republicans.
Particle back means again


you've got to balance it up
Meaning find the right balance
Examples It is also a case of balancing up the potential benefits of success with the potential problems of failure.
Particle up has no extra meaning in this sentence


you drive out the Taliban
Meaning expel them from power
Examples Most guerrilla wars have been about driving out the foreigners.
Particle out has its literal meaning