Kabul airport bombing ‘is what defeat looks like’, says Tory MP in attack on Biden strategy

‘We don’t have any control, we don’t have any say. It’s a defeat’

Tom Batchelor
Thursday 26 August 2021 23:36
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Related video: Boris Johnson vows to continue Kabul evacuations after ‘barbaric terrorist attack’

The Kabul airport bombing which claimed more than 70 lives is “what defeat looks like“, according to a Tory MP who criticised Western forces for their chaotic Afghan withdrawal led by a US administration which had shifted from “America first to America alone”.

Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, warned that the West now had no control over the future direction of Afghanistan.

“This is what defeat looks like,” he told BBC Radio 4.

“Defeat is when you don't control any of the process anymore and if you are lucky you just about get out with your lives and a bit of your equipment and that's what we are doing at the moment.

“We don't have any control, we don't have any say. It's a defeat.”

Officials have said at least 72 people were killed when two blasts went off outside Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Among the dead were 11 US Marines and one US Navy medic. More than 150 people were injured, including 15 US service personnel.

The Ministry of Defence said there have been no reported UK military or UK government casualties.

Mr Tugendhat, who has himself served in Afghanistan, described the situation as “the sun setting over some really pretty terrible decisions by the west over a number of years”.

Commenting on the decision-making in Washington, he added: “We went in together and we should have been part of the decision making process together.

“It seems like we've gone from 'America first' to 'America alone', it's not really a great advert for coalition building or alliance networks.

“When we heard 'America's back' at the beginning of this (presidential) term, we're now hearing 'America's back home and without you'.”

Boris Johnson has vowed to continue the evacuation effort in Afghanistan following the “barbaric” attack.

The prime minister said on Thursday the “overwhelming majority” of eligible people had already been helped to flee the Taliban by the RAF and “we are going to keep going up until the last moment” as the deadline rapidly approaches.

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