Everyone got it wrong on Afghanistan: Gen Carter

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The last British and US troops left Afghanistan a week ago, bringing their 20-year military campaign in the country to an end…reports Asian Lite News.

Chief of the Defence Staff Gen Sir Nick Carter on Sunday said that “everybody got it wrong” on how quickly the Taliban would take over Afghanistan.

Talking to BBC, Gen Sir Nick Carter said: “It was the pace of it that surprised us and I don’t think we realised quite what the Taliban were up to.”

Asked whether military intelligence was wrong, he said the government received intelligence from a variety of sources. “It’s not purely about military intelligence,” he said.

The last British and US troops left Afghanistan a week ago, bringing their 20-year military campaign in the country to an end.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs last week the intelligence assessment had been that there would be a “steady deterioration” in the security situation in August but it was “unlikely Kabul would fall this year”. However, the Taliban took over Kabul in mid-August.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Sir Nick was asked how the predictions had been wrong.

“I think everybody got it wrong is the straight answer,” he said. “Even the Taliban didn’t expect things to change as quickly as they did.”

Raab has earlier confirmed that UK will not recognise the Taliban as the new government in Afghanistan but said it wants to engage with the group.

Speaking during a visit to Pakistan, the Foreign Secretary said, “Britain will not recognise the Taliban as the new government in Kabul”, reported Al Jazeera.

Raab further stated, “new realities in Afghanistan” must be dealt with and also said that the UK does not want to see the “social and economic fabric of the country broken.”

Meanwhile, stressing the importance of talks with the Taliban, he said that the evacuation process could not have been possible without some degree of cooperation with the group, reported Al Jazeera.

He said it would not have been possible to evacuate some 15,000 people from Kabul without some degree of cooperation with the Taliban, who seized Kabul on August 15.

“We do see the importance of being able to engage and having a direct line of communication,” he said.

In the run-up to government formation, the Taliban is holding talks with several countries around the world in a bid to gain legitimacy.

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