UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has slammed what he called a rotten deal that the former US President Trump made with the Taliban last year regarding, among other things, the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops from Afghanistan that is ultimately leading to, as we can witness lately, to terrorists regaining control over the country, Daily Mail on Sunday reports.
Wallace expressed sadness for throwing away what had been achieved in Afghanistan over the las 20 years and warned they’ll probably be back there in 10 or 20 years, but said acting now is impossible due to the damage done with the deal.
Referring to the NATO pullout, Wallace noted that UK has tried desperately to form a military coalition and stay on in Afghanistan to support Afghan forces after the US pull-out but their allies in NATO have turned the deaf ear to the request.
At the same time, as he pointed, it was not viable for the UK to unilaterally put a force in Afghanistan due to the current British politic of pulling from lot of other places around the world.
The former head of Britain’s Joint Forces Command, General Richard Barrons echoed Wallace’s statements calling the exit from Afghanistan a strategic mistake that sends a really unfortunate message that the West would rather leave than stop a humanitarian or political crisis from unfolding.
At the same time, he warned on very poor strategic outcome of the withdrawal that wasn’t in their best interest at the first place, and might also have far-reaching consequences for Afghanistan and for Europe.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its Afghanistan travel advice on Friday, calling on all UK citizens to leave the country due to intensifying Taliban violence British nationals are advised to leave now by commercial means but are urged to contact the embassy to confirm their departure plans.
The updated travel advice came after UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, pressed by then outcry from a coalition of British newspapers and broadcasters, agreed to consider providing shelter in UK to the Afghan journalists who worked for the British if their lives are endangered
The UK also aims to relocate 2,500 Afghan translators and their families who supported British troops in Afghanistan in response to pressure after US military withdrawal from Afghanistan,
UK accelerated its relocation scheme for Afghan local staff in May and has managed to relocate 1,400 Afghan staff and their families so far but concerns has been raised for the Afghan staff that had been rejected for relocation because of security concerns, mainly because they were dismissed from service.