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Ex-Welsh Gov minister calls troop withdrawal from Afghanistan a ‘disaster’

13 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
British soldiers patrol through a wheat field in Yakchal, Afghanistan. Photographer: Cpl Daniel Wiepen. © Crown Copyright 2014 (CC 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/defenceimages/14784267540

Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is a “foreign policy mistake”, according to a former Welsh Government minister.

Alun Davies, the Labour MS for Blaenau Gwent, called the decision a “military, political, humanitarian and security disaster”, in the wake of Taliban advances in the war-torn country.

The UN has urged the country’s neighbours to keep their borders open as the number of civilians fleeing the onslaught increases.

Many of those internally displaced have been arriving in the capital city, Kabul, seeing it as their last safe refuge.

The insurgents seized the country’s second largest city Kandahar on Friday. They have also taken the nearby city of Lashkar Gah and now control about a third of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals.

The advance comes as US and other foreign troops withdraw after 20 years of military operations.

Davies was responding to the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Westminster, Tom Tugendhat MP, who criticised the withdrawal.

DAvies said: “This is quite something from @TomTugendhat. And I agree with every heartbreaking word.

“Withdrawal from Afghanistan is a foreign policy mistake which will lead to a military, political, humanitarian and security disaster. We need to not walk away from the last twenty years.”

Conservative MS Samuel Kurtz said: “If we want to be ‘Global Britain’, then we need to rethink our decision to leave Afghanistan

‘Badly’ 

Tom Tugendhat MP, said: “If you think I’m taking the news from Afghanistan badly and personally, you’re right.

“Over my 4 years I met and served with the most impressive and courageous people. Afghans, Brits, Americans, Canadians, Dutch, French, Romanians, Turks, Aussies, Kiwis and many more.

“Many of us gave all we could. The operation broke us. Worse, it tore families apart, left children orphans and parents to cry alone.

“The father carrying his bloodied daughter desperately looking for the help that was now useless haunts me every time I carry my own child.

“But through failure and hardship we changed the odds. It stopped being US or NATO fighting but the Afghan Police and Army. We built trust and ensured they had the support they needed to sustain operations.

“We got to the point where the insurgent forces were outmatched and a standoff saw civic institutions grow. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it was growing and time was deepening the roots of society.

“The decision to withdraw is like a rug pulled from under the feet of our partners. No air support, none of the maintenance crews able to service their equipment – that was done by US contractors, now gone.

“That means battle winning technology we had taught the Afghans to rely on is useless. Billions of dollars of assets, wasted. Instead of a sustainable peace, incrementally building, we’re seeing a rout. Of course we are.

“Training a man to fight with his eyes open and then blindfolding him before his title bout is going to have only one result.”

He added: “It’s wasteful and unnecessary. And why it’s personal? Because I’ve seen what it costs and what sacrifices are being thrown away. And I know who’s going to pay for it – we will. Britain is weakened when the US and NATO is weakened.”

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Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

I agree with him on that.
It’s a cowardly betrayal of our(UK) Allies in a conflict we(UK, USA and coalition of the paid for) never should have started.
The betrayal of the brave Kurds was despicable, as is the ongoing betrayal of Palestine. This is just another shameful episode in the disastrous foreign policy of the fading empire.
And they wonder why we don’t want anything to do with that [EXPLETIVE DELETED] rag of theirs?

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Yes following the latest betrayal of people who were promised the Earth perhaps we should launch “Operation Mind our Own Business”. While we are at it we could seceed unilaterally. London and Washington will just leave Cairns and the rest of the uncle Toms to stew in their own juice after all.

Alan Reilly 1
Alan Reilly 1
1 month ago
Reply to  Quornby

I like the title of your operation!

Maybe an independent Wales and a united Ireland could join together in such a mission!

We could simultaneously use the same name, over there in Cymraeg and over here as Gaeilge just to show we’re singing from the same hymn sheet! 🕊️

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago

Afghanistan’s problems stem from too much foreign intervention, not too little. And no country has meddled more in the country’s affairs than Britain.

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