In a damning report from the Foreign Affairs Committee, MPs say the Foreign Office, the National Security Advisor and Ministers must accept responsibility for the failure to prepare or respond, abandoning the UK’s allies and damaging the UK’s interests.

The Foreign Affairs Committee said in their report that important policy decisions were made through informal, unaccountable means.

“Senior officials believed that the Prime Minister played a greater role in some decisions than has been admitted. The Committee was not offered a plausible alternative explanation. More seriously, the FCDO provided answers that were intentionally evasive and often deliberately misleading. Government officials should not be expected to obscure the facts to shield others from political accountability.

Today’s report refers to the ‘appalling mismanagement of the crisis’ and the misleading statements to Parliament which followed. Those who lead the Foreign Office should be ashamed that civil servants of great integrity felt compelled to risk their careers to bring the situation to light, says the report. It is the responsibility of the Permanent Under-Secretary to ensure the system operates effectively, leading the Committee to conclude that he no longer has their confidence and should consider his position.”

Key points from the report:

  • Fundamental lack of planning, grip or leadership at a time of national emergency
  • No clear line of command within political leadership of Government; untraceable and unaccountable political interventions
  • Total absence of plans to evacuate Afghans who supported the UK mission without being directly employed, put lives at risk
  • Committee loses confidence in Foreign Office’s top civil servant and urges him to consider his position

The report adds:

“The UK Government must commit to a serious strategy for future engagement with Afghanistan. The failure to do so would abandon women and girls in the single biggest reversal of rights in a generation. Today’s report calls on the Government to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan as soon as it is safe to do so, and to work with those on the ground who can support civil society. Attempts to isolate the new regime entirely may only hurt the Afghan people and leave a vacuum to be filled by China. The report argues that humanitarian aid alone will not be enough to avert catastrophe and that the UK should aim to resume development aid when possible, placing Afghan women at the heart of its policy towards the country.”

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP, said:

“The UK’s part in this tragedy exposes a lack of seriousness in achieving co-ordination, a lack of clear decision-making, a lack of leadership and a lack of accountability. At a time when we face critical foreign policy challenges, and the risks to our lives and economy are so serious, including from the current energy and inflation pressures, our diplomacy and security cannot be so confused and unstructured. Unity of purpose, clarity and coordination require serious intent and consistent political leadership.

The timeline of misery exposed by this report reveals serious systemic failures at the heart of the UK’s foreign policy. The absence of the FCDO’s top leadership – ministerial and official – when Kabul fell is a grave indictment on those supposedly in charge. While junior officials demonstrated courage and integrity, chaotic and arbitrary decision-making runs through this inquiry. Sadly, it may have cost many people the chance to leave Afghanistan, putting lives in danger.  The integrity of the Civil Service depends on those leading these organisations showing the courage to tell the truth to the British people.

There are many heroes in this story who worked under enormous pressures. The military and civilian personnel on the ground in Afghanistan, and many in the FCDO itself, during the evacuation and those who helped from afar deserve our thanks. Now, Afghanistan faces a terrible humanitarian crisis with 23 million people at risk of starvation and the rights of women and girls have faced their greatest reversal in a generation. All this while the threat from extremism has grown. We need a serious rethink in the heart of the UK Government to combine diplomacy, aid and trade in a concerted and strategic approach to future policy towards Afghanistan.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago

What nonsense, what the hell was the UK supposed to do?

The US took the lead and created the timetable, we had to march at the drum beat they set!

Afghanistan was always going to end this way, we all knew it, an absolute disaster of Western foreign policy, if anyone was to blame, it was the ANA, who literally threw down their guns, or joined the other side!

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Whilst I agree that it was fundamentally down to the US, my question is why did they not tell us in advance or did they and did we just not react. Why didn’t they trust us? This question needs addressing. The top three people being on holiday at the same time when it all happened was clearly a lack of leadership, especially when they all failed to immediately fly home to coordinate things or at least be seen to be doing their jobs. The chances are only a few extra people would have got out, if our top civil servants… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve:
The Uk actually put in place a plan to relocate Afghans on the 1st of April 2021

Opera Snapshot_2022-05-24_104416_www.gov.uk.png
Last edited 1 month ago by Farouk
Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

It didn’t seem to be a very well thought out plan. Too many of the backbone stuff wasn’t prepared, such as basics of how to process claims etc. Probably similar to operation yellow hammer, a plan on paper but none of which was put into place in reality. I was very disjointed and poorly run, even if overall the outcome of the evac wasn’t terrible.

Then there was the PM saying he was trying to find support for replacing the US, after they left. Shouldn’t he have been working on that before hand.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

From friends I have that are still in the places where planning is done, the first we knew was only a few hours before the US made its own announcement. The UK had a lot of air assets in Central West Africa supporting the French. This caused problems for them too.

When you drill down to it, they (the US) either didn’t trust us at a political and civil service level, or just didn’t give a damn. Remember, it’s not the first time they have done it.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Yet we’re always surprised. 🤔

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Biden has this Irish/ USA strong fantasy we are the bad guys and should never be forgiven. So depressing.

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

They were too busy arguing about when to leave. It was supposed to be earlier, but in typical Trump fashion, nothing had really been prepared for that.

I’m really surprised things didn’t go even worse.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

… if anyone was to blame, it was the ANA, who literally threw down their guns, or joined the other side!

’Around the world you can buy anyone but you only rent an Afghan.’ – Old British India saying.

Last edited 1 month ago by Barry Larking
John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

How true….

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agreed. It is easy to be wise after the event.

The Afghans as a nation failed to build themselves a society which could thrive after the west had left and consequently they are in a mess. Many critise whatever is done yet fail to come up with any realistic alternatives.

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Totally agree. And the US was right too in leaving the place. The West (and I certainly cite the US & UK here) spent blood and treasure galore – and for what – an army that existed mainly on paper and ran off entirely in the end. Worthless.

As one British officer said back in the 19th century…’I’m surprised that someone thinks an Afghan’s word is worth anything’.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

For me John, you’ve kind of answered your own statement by admitting that we knew it was going to happen.

I doubt we’d have been able to get everyone out that we wanted to but this report was looking into how we fecked it so we can do a “lessons learnt” as well as looking for ‘guilty b’ stards’.

Safe to say it doesn’t rank as one of our greatest moments.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

Why didn’t you know that thing that no one knew ? Why didn’t you do that thing that no one advised you to do ? If only i’d have been PM 😉😉

Last edited 1 month ago by David Steeper
Simon
Simon
1 month ago

When the yanks pulled out of their massive airbase in the dead of night, it didn’t trip any alarm bells at the foreign office.

Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

And when it did the the secretary of state and senior civil servant’s continued with their holidays. A junior civil servant at the FO was ignored, phone calls and emails remained unanswered. Classic American cluster f***k granted but the UK have a share in the blame for this.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

On your logic then every nation that had troops in Afghanistan has a share of the blame then! When it boils down to it if the population of a country just shrugs it shoulders and mutters “inshallah” and not defend what the west was trying to give them we see what happens.

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

You have gone right over my head. I was replying to Simon. I’ve know idea what you are talking about.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Oops wrong person😀

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

🤣

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

Based on the intelligence details being fed from the MOD, and what was being predicted.

the intelligence caught the USA/Sweden/Italy/Germany/France/UK out.

But do we hear those countries Gutless Mps moaning about a shitebox full of cowards.

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Yes intelligence failures on how quickly the Teli Tubbies took The Country and how fast they advanced on the Capital, something I don’t understand but and this is the big but where was the contingency plan if the Taliban advance was quicker than expected. Still no excuse for pompous senior civil servants and Grant Shcapps refusal to cut short thier holidays and expect the juniors to clean up the mess. A junior FO civil servant trying to do his level best and being totally ignored by his senior’s because they know best. Disgraceful. The French put us to shame and… Read more »

Simon
Simon
1 month ago

The yanks told everyone they getting out of Afghan, trump had said it, biden followed up. The French got their civilians out I believe before the mayhem. Shocking to see the massive air base abandoned ,not handed over, the American s didn’t trust the Afghan s one bit after 20 years.

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

Simon wrote:

“”The French got their civilians out I believe before the mayhem.””

The French pulled out 623 of their citizens and around 800 Afghans around May, during the airlift phase they took out 3000 people.

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Thank you for correction.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

USA did pull out in the dead of night from Camp Bastion, and only when the fuel ran out in the generators were the locals aware.

USA running away from a war after they had sold Bombs/Bullets/Bandages for years. it not new.

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Good withdrawal tactic, tbh.

Neil J Peacock
Neil J Peacock
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

I think it was actually Bagram Airfield USAF which they abandoned in the dead of night

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Neil J Peacock

Yes, they did not even tell the Afghani base commander!!

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

Biden cut Afghanis throats by a sudden precipitous pull out & we were obliged to follow suit. Deeply shameful. Of course our Boris government doesn’t do planning or anywhere near the work needed for effective government, so it was bound to be a fiasco.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

I am very sorry Frank 62, you are very, very wide of the mark. The rest of us there were mere window dressing at times. I did four tours, two on staff. The US were the whip hand. If they wanted something done, it got done. We didn’t have the assets available most of the time. The number of times we had to rely on US aircraft because we didn’t have any available for a tasking was numerous. Once they decided to leave, we had to otherwise we would have lost hundreds of men. You have to understand the sheer… Read more »

Emjay
Emjay
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Well said.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

as much of the truth Hurts, once the USA was pulling out, we couldnt just take over.
Blaming the Government is another sad trait because you didn’t vote for them.

Because your grandfather/father and mother were working class and voted Labour.

head up dickwad we are all working class as we work, and the working class vanished in the Victorian times

all goverments are crap, and i am sure Tony Blair lied to take us there, or do you ignore Labours passed and its IRA supporting former leader.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

I’m implying no fault of the troops & personel at the sharp end on the ground. Sorry if I gave that impression. I agree we’ve got too few resources in our armed forces to do what we need or as a permanent member of the UN security council & the responsabilities that implies.
Indeed once the USA pulled out suddenly it was hopeless. What did they expect?

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Aghanis did it to themselves. They got possibly the most aid to a developing country in history and yet fell in weeks.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Some say that but it sounds like victim blaming to me.

Tams
Tams
30 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Victim blaming? Get out of here with that cop out.

The West spent billions and did try really quite hard to make sure most of it was well spent. Evidently many Aghanis only cared how much they could enrich themselves with it.

And yet apparently we’re supposed to now feel remorse that we didn’t do more?

They are largely their own victims and I’ve no sympathy left to spare for them. Especially when Ukraine are fighting for their freedom.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

It was Trump that decided on the pull out. I think Biden merely advanced it by a few weeks?

Tams
Tams
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

He actually delayed it a couple of months, which caused much consternation amongst some.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago

The key question for me is why we went in. Osama Bin Ladin and most of they key leaders were in Pakistan (which is still a hot bed for radical Islam – for instance their Madrassas that still teach some Pakistani-British men how to think). This damaged the west and caused a refugee crisis. Similarly, with Libya we have the same issue which caused 90% of our current immigration issues. Therefore, key question for me is why our (i)liberal politicians keep inteferring in the Islamic world and then trying to import the problem to the UK. Isn’t the definition (axiom?)… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew Thorne
Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Andrew wrote: The key question for me is why we went in. Osama Bin Ladin and most of they key leaders were in Pakistan OBL and his gang of unmerry men were based out of Afghanistan, (After relocating from Sudan when their HQ Baby Milk factory was taken out in 1998 post the African embassy bombings) The US asked for the Taiban to hand them over, they refused. On the invasion by the Yanks, OBL and Al retreated to Bora , Bora and then he disapeared until he was found a few miles away by a US hit squad a… Read more »

Opera Snapshot_2022-05-24_110517_www.bbc.co.uk.png
Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
30 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Farouk, we know from US and UK intelligence reports that OBL and co used to move between Afghanistan and Pakistan with impunity and that the Pakistani Army intelligence supported and trained both Al-Qaeda and also the Taliban (they were indeed the key enablers as well as financial support from the middle east). We’d have been far better routing out the Islamist supporters in Pakistan than we would have been in invading Afghanistan which by and large kepts itself to itself. Pakistan has been involved in pretty much all conversion of Pakistani-British men to Islamism along with certain Wahhabi clerics in… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Another corking decision by Tony Blair im afraid.

We should not have got involved, just as we should not have gone into Iraq the second time.

Its no wonder the MOD has black holes in the budget the amount of money that got wasted occupying these countries illegally for such long periods of time.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Blairs blood price.

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Going in and kicking heads early on was ok for the first few months. But as soon as I heard ‘nation building’ on the radio reports I knew (best part of 20 years ago) how this would all end.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Its impossible to change a tribal nation into a democracy, complete waste of time, money and lives.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Yes you cannot impose western Liberal democracy, it’s both counter intuitive and pointless.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Agreed.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago

At least the estimable Pen Farthing managed to get his dogs out along with 250 people, on his Nowzad charity chartered flight.

Too bad some FCO spook left the names, addresses and photographs of our Afhgan interpreters in an open safe, as he/she legged it for the first flight out to Brize. This helped the Talibs no end, as they hunted them down and beheaded them later

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

David wrote:
Too bad some FCO spook left the names, addresses and photographs of our Afhgan interpreters in an open safe, as he/she legged it for the first flight out to Brize.

That is incorrect, an email was promugated which contained the email addresses of 250 people (BCC) , and the last I looked you’d be hard pressed to find me (even with my unusal first name) via my email address in the Uk, how would the Taliban go about trying to find 250 people when most of the jundies are called Mohhamed.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

The Americans were instructed to give the Talibs the details of their interpreters so they could get through their checkpoints quickly. The instruction to do so apparently came from the White House. So they all got beheaded too

The details of the interpreters, the files and the open safe story were reported in the Times and the Washington Post

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

DL wrote:

The Americans were instructed to give the Talibs the details of their interpreters so they could get through their checkpoints quickly. The instruction to do so apparently came from the White House. So they all got beheaded too

So the Americans and not the British FCO as you alluded to above.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Well to be pedantic he didnt say ‘us’ did he …he said ‘we’ – and as is oft pointed out on here ‘we’ are a coallition. Either way I hope we can all agree that action was a disgrace and , if -as it seems- true , someone ought to be punished for that ( but Im gunna guess they won’t be) . As for the report …I agree with it . Trump said they would do it – Biden confimred it, once that had been done we should have started proceedings. Now we can all harp on about how… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

Grizzer, I replied to this comment:

Too bad some FCO spook left the names, addresses and photographs of our Afhgan interpreters in an open safe, as he/she legged it for the first flight out to Brize.

FCO and Brize are very much British which is the point i addressed.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

gotcha – I missed the Brize aspect of the comment – apologies.

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

G wrote:
“”but we knew about it for 12 months- and did….absolutely nothing!””
Thats not exactly true, the UK put into motion a plan for LES (As per my post above) on the 1st of April 2021, by the start of August I do believe that between 2500 and 3000 Afghans had been relocated to the Uk, which as of the 9th May 2022 had risen to 9000, this is not to be confused with the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) from January 2022, which will allow up to 20,000 refugees to settle in the UK.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Correct Farouk, it was difficult trying to find someone over there, even the ANA called each other by numbers. It was a bit like the Zulu movie when Jone 23 was speaking to Williams 5. For us, it went over our heads, you got to know people by the nicknames the lads gave them. One would act like the Terminator, one would be the mouse always diving for a hole etc. Trying to find a particular person was bloody difficult, it was more luck than anything, they were found due to their mistake. We didn’t do what the US did… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

I remember seeing a documentary, following a USMC unit that took over a British area… Different approach, the USMC Head shed immediately met with the Elders, telling them in no uncertain terms “pack it in with the IED’s, or we will simply demolition charge your entire road, cut you off and really F*ck up your village”. A different and very aggressive approach…. Probably only increasing Taliban recruitment. All pointless, unless you actually want to fight a permanent war in the arse end of nowhere just for shits and kicks… Most Afghans have absolutely nothing and they will fight you for… Read more »

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Is that actually true?

It wouldn’t make any difference if the safe was locked it would have been opened in a few hours with basic tools.

I though the problem was more that there was a US biometric database that had all that on it that the Talibs got their hands on?

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago

SB wrote:

Is that actually true?

The claim regards Photos was made in a Daily Mail article which then fails to substantiate that allegation. So typical media sensualism

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

The real tragedy of this David, was that we all saw it happening way back in 2002, no crystal ball required…The moment we moved from SF to deploying troops, regime change and nation building. … This was only ever going to end one way, a hurried rush for the door, it was just a question of when our will would fail, never if.

Give it 20 years and some over sucker will give it another crack, my guess would be China….

They will end up giving up too…..

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

China would be the only one with the border and power to do it regionally, they have of course cut lots of deals for minerals already so will be on very good terms with the Taliban.

Unless they needed farming land China probably already gets all that is of use from Afghanistan.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  James

It one of thing that frustrates me about all of this – we do all the leg work..the Chinese come in ..slap some money down and all of a sudden all the minerals requierd for batteries etc. are theirs…
just seems madness tbh…who are the fools.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

China will succeed where we failed. The reason? Brutality.

They don’t have our same value on life, they don’t have lawyers running to the High Court, or a free press that will pan you for not “shooting to disarm”. They won’t have Marines put in prison for putting a whimpering combatant out of their misery. The Chinese will go in, round the villages up into a series of camps and expend a great deal of ordinance against anyone who stands in their way.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

They absolutely will …. And still they will loose! The Afghans just adore a fight, they fight each other while waiting for the next hapless foreigner to drop in. The Chinese will pour in mass and the Taliban will recruit willing angry young men from the wider region (an inexhaustible supply) in an endless conveyor belt of destruction, human misery and IED’s…. Same old, same old, eventually, even the Chinese will give up and sod off! Best just leave the Afghans too it. 1000 years from now, when humankind has colonised the Stars, Afghan warlords will still be scrapping with… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Possibly but brutality didn’t work for the USSR. It could be China’s …”Afghanistan”. It would be another absolute disaster for Afghans. Hopefully most the Islamic terrorists might go there to join the fight.

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago

On reading this report, I personally feel that whilst questions have been raised, the wrong ones have been asked for example a lot has been made of the poor response to the crisis inside Afghanistan as it unfolded yet as others have pointed out, the Afghan Gov was stable (crooked but stable) it had a powerful military which had shown it had the ability to take on and defeat the Taliban) yet it fell like a house of cards when push came to shove. There are numerous reasons , yet the above report makes no mention of them instead it berates… Read more »

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Hmmme Well Mad Vlad was probably emboldened by the collapse of will and the chaos that was seen in the evacuation. He probably thought that it was a reasonable conclusion that NATO would shy away from any kind of fight after the messes of the sandy wars. And the invasion of Ukraine did have global economic and political consequences which are predictable as night follows day. Given the amount of intel that the UK and US clearly have/had on Russian intentions they must have know what Mad Vlad was up to at this point in time so the pack of… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago

Historically US foreign policy always takes a blow when the dems are in power, who are perceived by its adversaries as weak:
We saw that with:
Carter
Clinton
Obama
And now Biden

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Actually I liked how Biden has recently said the US will defend Taiwan militarily. His aides try to walk the comments back but that’s the second time he’s said it recently. Must be annoying China….that has got to be good 😁

And he’s backing Ukraine. Now if you’re talking about Prez Macaroon….cheese and white flags all round 😆.

Last edited 1 month ago by OldSchool
dave12
dave12
30 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

You seem to have forgotten Trumpski who rather than stop North Korea’s nuclear arms he become best friends with kim during their summit also Russia would be in Kiev by now if Trumpski was still in power(quote Bolten), you better pray the republicans do not get into power next term because they will be promoting ties with Putin and not aiding the Ukraine ,and non of those x pres you listed aided in the storming of the senate.

Last edited 30 days ago by dave12
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Bravo. As always.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Cannot disagree with you on any point. The fact that (not just Afghans) people come to the UK, claim asylum and once they have a British passport, bugger off back home on holiday. It’s been known by people who work or live by these people it’s been going on for year’s. They got caught out when the house of cards fell last year. On top of that, hundreds managed to bypass the regular system by claiming to be a relative of X or Y and got paperwork for a free ride. Thinking back, I worked with no more than half… Read more »

simon alexander
simon alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

have to agree, asylum seekers appear to come and go to the place they supposedly fled from, saddest example being the manchester bomber

Mike
Mike
30 days ago

Indeed, how many of the British citizens were former afghan refugees that were granted asylum because their lives were at risk in Afg? Either able to go back on British passport after being naturalised or had gone to Pakistan on their British passports and then traveled into Afghanistan using their Afghani documentation that they would previously have denied having (replace Afg with other country as you see fit) The language I disagree with is that we abandoned people whom had helped us. Whilst tenuous, we were actually helping them (no one was forced to work for coalition forces) but as… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Crooked 100%, when the leader escaped with a plane full of cash for a new life in the GCC.

It was rotten from the top down and the West financed this corruption.

Nothing was done to stop the drugs trade and clearly naff all was done to regulate how the ‘support’ being given was getting spent.

What did they expect when this type of set up existed.

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  James

That’s a very interesting observation regards how we (The West) work with other countries. The problem as I see it, is this misguided march to apologise for empire, slavery etc has resulted in good practice and common sense been thrown out of the window. You mentioned the drugs, yet those in power issued edicts that it was to be overlooked as this is their culture and we have no right to impose our laws and customs, morality and way of life onto others. So the Afghan practice of bacha bazi (where Afghan males have their very own young rent boy who… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

I often wondered about the Aid Charities tbh…they seem to have a lot of power and influence…with little accountabilty.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

I can confirm what you said Farouk. The standing order was to be “culturally sensitive”. Yet you couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor little ‘buggers’ walking behind these Afghani men, some were in rag order. The first time I saw a poppy field and called it in, I was told to note its location for my report and that was it. If I recall, they only destroyed a few fields when the TV people were in tow, the ANP was called in to whip it down and burn the stores. That was it. The amount of aid money… Read more »

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

👍

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Well said.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

Those who worked from home rather than going into the office to keep on top of the crisis, must hang their heads in shame. The UK military did the best it could, given the sudden Biden US pull out, but with hindsight, it would have been better to keep a couple of RAF Puma in Kabul a bit longer, to get those Brits on the outskirts of Kabul safely to the airport, when the roads became unsafe/blocked. The next medium UK helicopter needs to be easy to wheel in & out of an A400m without assembly/disassembly.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Being realistic what difference exactly would someone flying back to the UK have made?

It wouldnt magically double the size of our assets in the region to help the situation.

The Americans can take full blame for the fiasco.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  James

?

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago

I don’t see how the UK could have done anything different as it was the
US that capitulated. I have bitter memories of gan. Personally losing two very good men and spent too long trying to placate various village elders when we were to abandon them. We lost our way politically, leaving those of us at the sharp end buggered.

The issue that ticks me right off is the airlifting of dogs. That was a major balls-up.

TypewriterMonkey
TypewriterMonkey
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Definitely. I agree.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

100% agree but as usual it will be used to beat the current government with a stick for as long as possible.

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

There were fundamentally three strategic mistakes that we lived with (those of us who were there on the ground.) Deploying a force to Helmand despite the fact that it is economically and strategically irrelevant to Afghanistan as a whole and our own SF (led by a certain Lt Col Carleton-Smith) reported that it should be left well alone or we’d cause a war. The choice to deploy conventional troops to conduct counter-insurgency in someone else’s country – in one move de-legitimising the Afghan government in the eyes of the people and creating a xenophobic resistance to our presence. Once we… Read more »

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

Hmm, I agree with some elements of what you say BobA, not so much with others. Deploying conventional troops was due to having nothing else. The British Forces (HQ) thought we were going to ‘Ulster by the Sun’. I was there in the early days through to 2014, we were woefully undermanned, in my unit we were regularly deploying half troop or less numbers, only consolidating to larger numbers when laying up at a FOB. At one point in Heric 5, I had 24 men when it should have been a full troop. My viewpoint on why we failed differs,… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Interesting to hear about the loss of the Harriers- I’m sure ‘call me Dave’and his mate George would have a pre-prepared answer for that…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

Joint Force Harrier, 3 Sqn, 4 Sqn with Harrier GR9s and 800 NAS, 801 NAS, 899 NAS of Sea Harrier FA2s were all cut under G Brown or Blair.

1 Sqn and 20R remained which were cut by Cameron and Osborne.

Not defending that pair of idiots but it’s repeated constantly it was the Tories when most of the force was already gone.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Interesting that the RAF replaced Harriers with Tornados which were very much more maintenance-intensive and were a less suitable platform for the task. It was RAF politics at its worst.

BobA
BobA
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

In my two tours of Helmand I never had air support from the RAF, so I’m not sure I felt the loss. Pretty much everything else in support, from USAF A10, F15E, Navy F/A18s, French Mirage, Norwegian F16 (most impressive show of force ever in Garmsir!) and once we had a B1.

So massively support the point that we were under-resourced to conduct what we were being asked to conduct, but I wouldn’t put any issues down to a single platform being present or not.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  BobA

Bob, Are you suggesting that ISAF should not have deployed a force to Helmand? Surely all provinces needed to have ISAF troops and not to omit one of them, which would have made it an enemy haven. Does it matter if Helmand was not important to Afghanistan as a whole – if AQ and Taliban were there then ISAF should be as well. Conventional troops offer conduct counter-insurgency – it is not solely the preserve of SF. How does conducting COIN in Helman de-legitinise the Afghan Govt? Some argue that we Brits would have been better deployed to Kandahar province,… Read more »

BobA
BobA
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I’ll tackle the Conventional Troops in Counter-Insurgency first Graham. My point is based in two points. First that the first function of government is the provision of security for its people. Second, that an Insurgency is defined (I’m paraphrasing) as an internal armed struggle to impose an alternative political reality within a state. So imagine if you would, a scenario where there is an Insurgency within the UK. The British Government decides to bring in a foreign army to provide the majority of its security. Furthermore, that Army is culturally, racially, religiously and linguistically completely different to the UK –… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
29 days ago
Reply to  BobA

Hi Bob, I really enjoyed reading your answer. As you know, Op Banner evolved from a MACP operation to restore Public Order in the wake of numerous failings of the RUC (1969-summer ’71) through to COIN (summer ’71-mid-70s) to CTerr op (from mid-70s). Similarly, operations in Afghan changed their nature over time but the legitimacy reduced as mission creep continued; we should have just sought to eliminate or write down AQ as a CTerr operation as part of the GWOT, with ANSF, and leave the country, just hitting TB bases on purely an opportunity basis until AQ was no longer… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

The worst, the very worst, political class in my long life time criticises our armed forces. Well I never …

Our people out there did better, far better than we have a right to expect.

simon alexander
simon alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

too much was asked of our servicemen and women and for what objectives.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Barry, which politicos are criticising our armed forces? About what exactly? Was that bit in the article?

nonsense
nonsense
1 month ago

It’s a side story, but I don’t understand why the British government and intelligence-military organizations are trying to help Pakistan. ; Inconvenient diplomatic relations with India + creating uncomfortable relations with the US

Pakistan is a supporter of the Taliban and an institution that fosters the Taliban.

In addition, Pakistan, as China’s ally, is a country that will value its relationship with China more than Britain for its national interest.

incomprehensible.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  nonsense

I think we need some ties to the country to find out whats going on and whats being planned.

Its better to have some connections to them than disconnect completely.

I dont agree with it and think they are a major issue as a nation into the future but we do need eyes/ears on the ground with nations like this.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago

Blimey. You’d think we still had an Empire and Suez 1956 never happened. MP’s so out of touch. I think we did a brilliant job improvising. Biden dropped the Ball and we don’t get a vote to get rid.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

As an American, I hold President Biden, primarily, responsible for this disaster. Say what you will about whether we should have been there or should have left years ago, it was probably the most cowardly and traitorous act of a sitting American president, in my adult life. To willfully abandon American citizens and allies behind enemy lines and negotiate with a terrorist group to surround American military and become the gate keepers to our evacuation would have gotten a Commander in Chief executed, two hundred years ago.

Tams
Tams
30 days ago
Reply to  Richard

It was Trump who made the agreement and therefore meant Western forces had to leave.

johan
johan
1 month ago

I Dont understand what they were expected to do, as the intelligence at the time was showing that the Afghan army was in a position to hold. The USA pulling out with notice caused a melt down and collapse of the country that no one could of predicted. UK Could not stand alone and maintain, and we stopped all Military action so any translator or work force had years to leave the country. the failure is that the Afghans didnt want to stand and fight for there country and you have to asked them why they failed. MPs moaning about… Read more »

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

The ANA could have held, but they crumbled because the loss of all US units meant they lost their ability to call in airstrikes. Once they knew that in any situation it was down to them, they decided it was better to run. Although they had their own helicopters (old Russian Mi’s gifted by India), they were no good at using them. We had trained them for the previous 16 years to fight the way we did. Get into a firefight where you are either being pinned down, outflanked or overwhelmed, we would call in an airstrike. It was bloody… Read more »

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
1 month ago

To be fair, I think the Military did all it could do, under the circumstances. The catastrophe was caused by the government, with their lack of forward planning, and simply not thinking out of the box. Once the Taliban started ‘gathering’ huge swathes of land under their control, it was pretty obvious the rest of the country was going to follow fairly quickly. The US beat the drum… well ar******s to the Americans, we had our own dependents to take care of, it should have been thought of sooner. As for committing to any form of dialogue with Afghanistan, why… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Who is blaming the military for the hurried departure?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I give up… who is blaming the military for the hurried departure?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Sorry Tom, think my point was aimed at someone else!

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

No worries Graham. 🙂

Tams
Tams
1 month ago

Love our US brothers most of the time, but they really left everyone in the lurch there. Staying in Afghanistan wasn’t tenable, but they made a right pig’s ear of leaving.

The UK was actually one of the better ones in regards to responding to that mess. That said, we, along with all partners, really should have had the foresight to see that the US were going to balls it up.

We even got a brief reprieve with Biden winning. Imagine if Trump had won and the original timetable (not plans; there never were any) to leave was kept to!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago

So much to be annoyed about.
No forthright condemnation of the Foreign Sec; virtually all blame layed at the door of senior civil servants, especially one – when they only do what the politicians tell them to do.
Just one line of praise for our armed forces for their work in the evacuation (buried near the end of the text).
Babbling about letting down Afghan women and girls – very much a secondary issue.
Why and how is there no clear line of command within political leadership in Government? To me the lines are clear.