“The revolution will be televised – no, not that one!”

The Ministry of Defence commissioned an article on Medium published on 08 July 2021.

One month and one week later, the Afghan government had collapsed, and the capital taken by the very movement the US & NATO had expelled from political power nearly a full 20 years ago. This from Sky News of former RM Commando Paul Farthing who runs a charity for abandoned pets in Kabul.

He also did this livestream too.

I hope he and his staff get out safely.

Political historians will be debating for decades (assuming humanity survives the climate emergency) the failure of the West’s missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. So I won’t try to analyse that in a single blogpost. What has been striking from a UK perspective is the reaction to the actions – and inactions of the British Government as it became more and more clear that something was going very badly wrong.

Response from the British Government – too little, too late

And that was just from their own supporters. The Conservative Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee has also been critical of the US.

…noting the impact on British Interests as well.

The former UK Ambassador to Lebanon, now Principal of Hertford College, Oxford, Tom Fletcher was particularly scathing of the Foreign Secretary.

The history matters. This is former Labour Defence Secretary Lord Robertson, who became Secretary General of NATO when military forces were committed to Afghanistan.

The current Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary – Lisa Nandy MP, was also scathing of Raab.

This point on what the Foreign Secretary knew is particularly important.

Why did the Foreign Secretary wait until long after the situation was hopeless to cut short his holiday? If he knew the situation was already deteriorating rapidly, why didn’t he reschedule his holiday?

Woeful conduct by the Home Office. Again.

Just. Incredible. And yet not surprising given the Home Office’s and the Home Secretary’s form. And that of her predecessors too.

It only looks like the widespread outcry from their own supporters has reversed the Home Office’s decision. Problem is that an institution with such a toxic culture and a record of incompetence is not going to be able to turn things around overnight. In the meantime, UK military forces have landed to help evacuate UK Nationals & those that worked with the British Government who are at risk of persecution from the new regime.

This video by AFP.

One final point to add: Given the scale of this reversal for the Western powers, and given their inability to respond militarily in the way they did in 2001, expect to see an international response against their lines of finance and resourcing.

Whether it will have any success remains to be seen.

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