MPS have spoken of their rage at American President Joe Biden after he blamed Afghan leaders and soldiers for the fall of the country to the Taliban.
However many MPs, including those who served in Afghanistan or in other military operations for the UK, have been highly critical of the president’s remarks.
They have also warned of the dangers the situation in Afghanistan pose to UK and western allies.
Tom Tugendhat, Conservative MP for Tunbridge, and former soldier who served in Afghanistan, was applauded by colleagues after he finished his emotional speech in the Commons today.
He said the President’s remarks were “shameful”, and blamed America for the disaster unravelling in Afghanistan, adding that the events had brought feelings of “anger, grief and rage” to him and his military colleagues this week.
The MP said: “Those who have never fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticising those who have.”
He then urged the Government to “reinvigorate” the European members of Nato, to ensure “we are not dependent on a single ally, on the decision of a single leader” in future.
Mr Tugendhat concluded by describing a situation he experienced in Afghanistan, explaining: “The image is one that the forever-war that has just reignited could lead to.
“It is the image of a man whose name I never knew, carrying a child who had died hours earlier into our firebase and begging for help.
“There was nothing we could do. It was over. That is what defeat looks like; it is when you no longer have the choice of how to help.
“This does not need to be defeat, but at the moment it damn well feels like it.”
Fellow veteran and Labour MP Dan Jarvis, said the withdrawal could have a “very long lasting impact on Britain’s reputation around the world” during his speech in the Commons.
The Barnsley Central MP said there had been a “catastrophic failure” of leadership in planning the withdrawal, adding: “It was particularly distasteful and dishonouring of President Biden to make reference to the lack of courage and commitment from those Afghan soldiers, who have served with such bravery and distinction.”
Bob Seely, another veteran and Conservative MP, gave an emotive speech during the debate, praising “remarkable” Afghans who he worked with during several small tours of Afghanistan.
He said the situation was an “appalling self-inflicted wound” that was “unnecessary” and added: “We have chosen to politically withdraw. We have not been forced to do so done so on security grounds.”
He warned that the Taliban’s takeover was a huge risk to the UK’s security, and also criticised President Biden and Donald Trump, explaining: “We will be regretting this decision for many years. The truly dreadful US President Donald Trump, who was probably an opt to the Russians, dealt with the Taliban behind the Afghan government’s back – a shocking betrayal. Joe Biden could have changed things.
“He has chosen not to, and he has opened the United States, Europe and many allies throughout the world to considerable terrorist risks from the 2,500-4000 jihadi nutjobs who are currently being released.”
He continued: “When they have stopped slaughtering out friends, when they have stopped beheading a few key women journalists, they will turn their attention to us.
“This was an anti-terrorist operation and we have walked away from a successful operation after 20 years. Sooner or later we will reap the rewards.”