The Chairman of the Commons Defense Committee referred to the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan as a “dark chapter in Uk military history” as lawmakers released a report on the pullout.
According to the report, between 2001 and 2021, more than 150,000 members of the British Armed Forces deployed to Afghanistan. This resulted in 457 service-related deaths and a financial expenditure of £27.7 billion.
The report also stated that the withdrawal of US forces in line with the Doha Agreement made the subsequent collapse of the Afghan Government inevitable. On the other hand, thousands of Afghans eligible for evacuation to the UK are still living at risk in Afghanistan, and remain in Afghanistan, said Tobias Ellwood, head of the Defence Committee.
The 30-page report claims that the military establishment was “more surprised than it might have been” by how quickly the previous Afghanistan government crumbled.
The report also urged the Government of the UK to conduct an open, honest and detailed review of military operations and political decisions throughout the 20 years of UK involvement in Afghanistan, from September 11th 2001, to the evacuation from Kabul in August 2021, the report said.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence stated that, to date, more than 12,100 people had been moved under the programme. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Afghan nationals who worked for, or alongside, the UK armed forces in Afghanistan.”
The head of the Defence Committee also said that the committee was calling for a government review “to take an unflinching look at where we went wrong”.
After the Doha agreement between the US and the Taliban in 2020 and the subsequent withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan led to the collapse of the previous government. as a result, the Taliban took control of power in Afghanistan in August 2021. However, the international community has not recognized the current Taliban-led government.
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