British Government Criticizes US Withdrawal from Afghanistan
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace fears that the rapid US withdrawal from Afghanistan opens the door to returning the Al Qaeda terror network in that country. It is not often that London is so openly critical of American decisions. The NATO Council will meet this afternoon in Afghanistan.
“It was not the right time and not the right decision,” Secretary Wallace describes US President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw his troops completely from Afghanistan by the end of this month. Since then, the extremist Taliban rebels have overrun one provincial capital after another.
Secretary Wallace fears that the Al Qaeda terror network could now re-establish bases in Taliban-controlled areas in Afghanistan, just as it did before the 9/11 attacks. It was precisely preventing the presence of Al Qaeda that prompted the US to invade Afghanistan at the end of 2001.
Wallace has criticized not only President Biden but also his predecessor Donald Trump. After all, the US withdrawal (and, as a result, that of the other NATO troops) was agreed in the Doha Agreement (in Qatar) that Trump concluded with the Taliban in February last year. “That is a bad deal because it allows the Taliban to claim victory and has undermined the authority of the Afghan government,” Wallace said.
The NATO Council will meet in Brussels this afternoon to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Member States may try to coordinate the temporary sending of troops to that country. The US will send 3,000 elite soldiers to accompany the evacuation of compatriots, embassy personnel and Afghans who have worked for the US. The British will send up to 600 soldiers.
Whether other NATO countries will also contribute will probably become apparent later. Nevertheless, a military operation limited in time and terrain that would minimize the risk of conflict with the Taliban or other rebels might be possible, if only to recruit its own people, embassy personnel and former Afghan employees such as translators and others for to prevent a bloodbath.
Denmark has now decided to close the embassy in Kabul temporarily. All personnel will be evacuated as soon as possible. Australia had also previously closed its embassy in Afghanistan. Our country has no embassy in Afghanistan.
Germany to use charter flights to evacuate embassy and Afghan employees. That should have happened at the end of this month but is now being accelerated.