British troops cannot return to Afghanistan: Former NATO Chief


Former NATO chiefs said British troops could not return to Afghanistan after being retaken by the Taliban on Sunday.

Sir Robertson, who served as General Secretary of the Military Alliance from 1999 to 2004, issued a statement on Monday invoking Article 5 of the Treaty governing collective defense after the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11: Said. The UK should focus on strengthening its defenses against terrorism in the country.

The Taliban marched to Kabul on Sunday, occupying the presidential palace with little resistance, and President Ashraf Ghani was forced to flee.

Sir Robertson said in “Good Morning Scotland” on Monday that the speed of the acquisition indicated a “failure in intelligence” from the Allies.

He said he was “sad and sick” in the scene of the country where the coalition forces had been stationed for 20 years.

“It’s ironic at best, but in the worst case, it’s tragic that the 9/11 anniversary will be commemorated with the Taliban under Kabul’s control a few weeks later. It’s deep, deep and depressing,” he said. Told.

But he added that the time for military intervention in the country was over and the focus had to shift to stopping terrorist acts in Britain.

“I don’t think we’ll be back there again. We can’t get in there militarily — it’s over, it’s over.

“It’s an episode that we need to reflect on and learn a lot of lessons.

“But all we have to do is make sure that our own defenses are much more resilient as a result of this particular failure, and what the international impact will be. I have to watch over.

“That’s why I think it’s tragic to commemorate the terrorist attacks on the Taliban, which controls Kabul’s presidential residence.”

The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan happened “too early,” he said on Monday.

“We didn’t have to do this. Once we learned the lessons of what happened in Bosnia and Kosovo, fact-based gradual withdrawals and successes in the field prevented the catastrophe from happening. maybe.

“But sadly, we don’t learn from the past or from previous experience, so the massive withdrawal of the U.S. military means that the country is now in a state of being hijacked by the Taliban. Did.”

Britain needs to act “quickly and generously” to support Afghan citizens who have supported British troops during the 20-year conflict.

Sir Robertson also criticized Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who was on vacation abroad last week as the Taliban headed for the capital of Afghanistan.

“I think it’s amazing that the Foreign Minister was still on vacation while Afghanistan collapsed in the Taliban,” he said.

“You have to work at such times when we are deeply involved.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth Office said Raab was personally coordinating Britain’s response and returned to Britain on Sunday.

Looking at the UK’s response to the war in Afghanistan over the last two decades, former NATO Secretary-General said: We have never actually taken the conflict with Afghanistan there with the seriousness it demands.

“We endangered people, endangered the army, and people died, and yet it seems that we were not fully committed to the campaign that was taking place there.

“I have always been critical of not taking this situation seriously, and now the chickens are back on the roost, and we are facing humiliation and disaster for all.”

Craig Peyton