Boris Johnson: The Taliban must understand the need to allow people to leave Afghanistan
In a statement to MPs, the Prime Minister will pay tribute to the “courage and ingenuity” of the armed forces in the air lift operation from Kabul Airport to bring British and Afghan allies to Britain. He will reveal £ 5million for military charities involved in caring for the mental health of conflict veterans to show that his government will stand by those who have served the country. “Just as they kept us safe, so do the good of our veterans,” he would say.
On the day the Commons returns after the summer parliament, the Prime Minister will update MPs on his diplomatic approach to Afghanistan following the takeover of the Taliban and plans to resettle around 20,000 Afghan refugees in Britain.
In his statement, he will promise to “use every economic, political and diplomatic lever to protect our country from harm and help the Afghan people.”
He will praise “courage and ingenuity” to all involved in the Kabul air, the largest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history.
Sir. Johnson will this week mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States that led to the Allied invasion of Afghanistan.
Boris Johnson must reveal additional support for armed forces
And with his promise of extra support, the prime minister will promise that “no veteran’s request for help will go unanswered”.
Sir. Johnson is expected to say: “Thanks to their efforts, no terrorist attack has been launched against this country or any of our Western allies from Afghanistan for twenty years.
“They fulfilled the first duty of the British Armed Forces – to keep our people safe – and they and their families should be proud of everything they did.”
£ 5 billion will be made available to charitable causes to increase the capacity of mental health support for veterans and service personnel.
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The money will also be used to make it easier for veterans to understand and access the support already available to them from government and charities, including specific projects helping veterans in Afghanistan.
That comes on top of the £ 3m that the government has invested in the NHS Op Courage scheme to provide specialized mental health care to military veterans.
Meanwhile, the commander of the armed forces yesterday denied allegations that there was a failure in military intelligence in Afghanistan about the Taliban’s potential to take control when Western troops withdrew.
General Sir Nick Carter said many assessments had indicated that Kabul would fall this year.
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His remarks contradicted a claim by Foreign Minister Dominic Raab that military intelligence reports considered this possibility “unlikely”.
General Sir Nick said on the BBC Andrew Marr Show yesterday and said: “The first scenario I think would have said too is that it was quite possible that the government would not last that much longer.
“In fact, many of the assessments indicated that it would not last during the year, and that, of course, has proven to be correct.”
Sir Nick said, “there has been a lot of talk about a failure in intelligence”, but that he said back in July that “there are a number of scenarios that could play out, and one of them would certainly be a collapse and coup d’etat. “.
He added: “I think everyone was wrong.
“It was the pace of it that surprised us, and I do not think we fully understood what the Taliban were up to.
“They did not really fight for the cities they eventually conquered, they negotiated for them, and I think you will find a lot of money changed hands when they managed to buy those who might have fought for them.”
Sir Nick said even the Taliban did not expect to take back power in Afghanistan as quickly as the US withdrew its troops before the August 31 deadline.
“At the moment, they are suffering from what we militarily call catastrophic success. “They did not expect to be in government as soon as they have shown up, and the reality is that they are trying to find their feet,” he said.
“We have to wait and see how this happens, recognizing that they are likely to need a little help to effectively run a modern state, and if they behave, they might get a little help.”
During questioning by lawmakers this week, Raab suggested that intelligence was incorrect about how quickly the Taliban would occupy Kabul, which fell on August 15.
He told an emergency session of the Foreign Affairs Committee that the “central assessment” from the Joint Intelligence Committee and the military was a “stable deterioration” after troops withdrew in August and “it was unlikely that Kabul would fall this year”.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace countered by saying that in July he argued that “the game was going on” in Afghanistan and suggested “it is not about intelligence flaws, it is about the limits of intelligence”.
On Sunday, senior Tory MP Tobias Ellwood called for an end to public guilt between ministers, saying it had caused Britain “further damage to reputation”.
“This indecent, unprofessional altercation must stop,” the Commons Defense Committee chairman wrote in the Observer.