Thursday, October 21, 2021

Johnson: Britain prepared for Afghan collapse but surprised by pace

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied that his government has failed to predict or prepare for the crisis in Afghanistan.

Speaking to a packed parliament – remembered for a debate on Afghanistan – Johnson defended the long-term withdrawal of troops, saying the “hard reality” was that there was no chance for the Allies to continue operations without Americans. didn’t want to.

The prime minister was repeatedly interrupted (as per parliamentary procedure) by MPs from both benches in an emotionally heated session of parliament – the first full-fledged person since the start of the pandemic.

In an interruption, Tory MP Mark Harper said that “it has caught us unintentionally because of the catastrophic failure of our intelligence or the speed of our assessment of intelligence.”

In response, Johnson said: “I think it would be fair to say that events have unfolded in Afghanistan and the collapse has been faster than the Taliban predicted. It is not correct to say that the UK government was not prepared for this or that it did. Didn’t imagine it.

“It was certainly part of our plan – a very difficult logistical operation being prepared for several months for the return of UK citizens.”

Johnson said the US-led mission in Afghanistan rested on US military power, troops and money.

“I really think it is an illusion to believe that there is a continued military presence among any of our allies or an appetite for a military solution imposed by NATO in Afghanistan,” he said. “The idea ended in 2014 with the war mission.”

“I don’t believe that deploying thousands of British soldiers to fight the Taliban today is an option, no matter how earnestly people advocate it—and I appreciate their honesty—but I don’t believe it is an option.” Who praises either the British people or this House.”

“We must deal with the situation now, acknowledging what we have achieved and what we have not achieved.”

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Johnson reiterated his position that it would be a mistake for any country to recognize a Taliban government “prematurely or bilaterally”.

The Taliban have signaled a less harsh position than in the past, with promises of amnesty to those who support their enemies and to respect women’s rights within Islamic law. Many international observers and Afghans dismiss it as a tactical ploy.

Yug Times Photos
British citizens board an RAF aircraft at Kabul airport during the evacuation after the city’s takeover by the Taliban on August 15, 2021. (Alfot Ben Shred/MOD/PA)

Johnson said the new regime needed to be judged by its actions.

“We will judge this regime by the choices it makes and its actions, rather than its words – its attitude to terror, crime and drugs, as well as humanitarian access and girls’ rights to education.”

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said there had been a “failure in preparation” by the government for which Johnson took “enormous responsibility”.

He said the Prime Minister is in a position to lead on the international stage but has failed to do so.

“There is a need for leadership in this desperate situation and the prime minister needs to come out of his complacency,” he said.

The first glimpse of face cover politics was also seen in the chamber in the special parliamentary session of the whole day.

It was the first time Britain’s parliament, recalled from summer break for debate, has met since the lifting of social distancing laws and mask mandates.

On government benches, only a few sly parliamentarians wore face coverings amidst a sea of ​​bare faces. On the opposition Labor bench, upside down.

PA contributed to this report.

Simon Weezy

Simon Weezy

freelance reporter

Simon Vezzy is a UK-based journalist who has reported for The Epoch Times since 2006 on a variety of beats, from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing on breaking news.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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