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Tony Blair is having second thoughts on war

The former prime minister's doctrine of liberal interventionism shaped two decades of conflict. Now, as the west's power is waning, he says it needs updating

Tony Blair in Basra, Iraq, in 2004. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

One afternoon in late spring I met Tony Blair in his central London office to talk about when it is right for a nation to go to war. It was 20 years almost to the day since he had made a speech in Chicago outlining the rules by which western nations could establish when—and how—they would intervene militarily in other countries in order to prevent ethnic cleansing, mass atrocities and genocide.

The context was Kosovo, and…

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