This week, Operation TORAL, the UK government’s military contribution to NATO’s support for war-torn Afghanistan had ended with the withdrawal of British troops. However, several Conservative MPs have expressed their disappointment over Prime Minister Johnson’s decision to follow the footsteps of new U.S. President Joe Biden. The latter announced the withdrawal of American troops from the NATO forces in Afghanistan sometime in April, 2021.
As it is, only a few UK military personnel remains in Afghanistan to facilitate a new phase of the UK Government’s support for the country until the end of NATO’s mission
Conservative MPs Warn PM Johnson of Catastrophic Results of the UK Pullout
Senior Tories, some of whom had served in the British military are concerned that the Taliban, the other faction in the Afgahn Civil War, would succeed in re-establishing control over the region. The only thing that prevented them from doing so is the presence of UK and US troops deployed in the country to help the Afghan government maintain control.
MP Tom Tugendhat, a former Army officer who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Prime Minister talks about achievements that were attained with the blood of his friends. All of which will be undone if the Taliban succeeds in reasserting itself. MP Tugendhat’s main concern is that other countries will no longer perceive the British as reliable allies.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former Tory leader told the House of Commons that the UK’s withdrawal from the Afghan region looks a lot like the hurried exit the U.S. did in Vietnam, after failing to help the South Veitnamese win in the civil war against the communist North Koreans.
Sir Edward Leigh, a Veteran Conservative MP said the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan marks a sad day as it poses as a “catastrophic defeat for the West.” MP Leigh sees it as an abandonment of their friends in Afghanistan whose protection was the life work of tens of thousands British personnel.
Nusrat Ghani, a former Parliamentary Under-Secretary who served at the State Department for Transport voiced concerns for the Afghan women and children, as their schools and clinics will be closed under Taliban rule.
PM Johnson Insists the UK Troop Withdrawal Does not Denote Abandonment of Commitment
According to PM Johnson, the UK is not abandoning its commitment to the Afghan nation, whilst rejecting calls for conducting an inquiry into the war. As it is, the UK will continue to give the Afghan government funding for development (£100 million) and funding for security forces (£58 million).
However, the government is also aware of the dangers of the present day situations and what lies ahead for the 750 military trainers who will facilitate the transition.
The Head of the Armed Forces, Gen./Sir Nick Carter said the situation is “pretty grim as the Afghanistan government is losing its grip over a country that is greatly fractured. Nonetheless, he doubts that the Taliban will be able to have complete control since the Afghan government forces have the advantage of international air support given to them.