UK says US pullout from Afghanistan a ‘mistake’ – News Vibe24

    UK says US pullout from Afghanistan a 'mistake' - Times of India
    LONDON: Britain on Friday criticized the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, warning that a resurgence of the Taliban would create a breeding ground for extremists who threaten the world.
    Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced on Thursday that about 600 troops would help evacuate British nationals from the country as the Islamists take more control.
    But she told Sky News television that the US decision to withdraw its troops “leaves a very big problem on the ground”, giving impetus to the Taliban.
    He predicted it would benefit al Qaeda, which was given safe haven by the Taliban ahead of the September 11, 2001 attacks that led to 20 years of Western involvement in Afghanistan.
    “I am absolutely concerned that failed states are breeding grounds for these people,” he added.
    “Of course al Qaeda is likely to return,” he said, warning that this would pose a “security threat to us and our interests.”
    “I felt it was wrong to do this, that we all as an international community would probably pay the consequences,” Wallace said of the Doha agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban.
    The deal, signed under former US President Donald Trump last year, left Britain with no choice but to withdraw its troops, he said.
    The 600 British troops being sent to Afghanistan to assist in repatriation are close to the 750 that Britain had in the country before leaving.
    They will help up to 3,000 British nationals leave, Wallace said.
    The minister’s critical remarks about the withdrawal were among several from senior politicians and the military.
    “We just pulled the rug out of the rug,” the chairman of the parliament’s foreign affairs selection committee, Tom Tugentad, told the BBC.
    The Conservative MP added that Britain’s need to send more troops to facilitate its withdrawal was “a sure sign of failure”.
    Former Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart has called the withdrawal “a complete betrayal by the United States and the United Kingdom” that threatens to spark a civil war between rival warlords who are now defending the Taliban.
    Johnny Mercer, a Conservative MP and former veteran minister who served in Afghanistan, called the withdrawal a “shame”.
    “I think it is humiliating for the UK military, for the families who lost their lives there, but above all it is a huge tragedy for the people of Afghanistan, who have been through so many years,” he told Times Radio.
    “We chose this defeat and it is a shame.”


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