LONDON: The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is a “failure of the international community”, Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday, assessing that the West’s intervention was a job only half-done.
“All of us know that Afghanistan is not finished. It’s an unfinished problem for the world and the world needs to help it,” he told BBC television.
The former British Army officer last week said US President Joe Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump had secured a “rotten deal” with the Islamist militants that allowed their return.
He maintained the 20-year intervention by US-led forces in Afghanistan “wasn’t a waste, it wasn’t for nothing” but accused Western powers of being politically short-sighted.
“If it’s a failure, it’s a failure of the international community to not realise that you don’t fix things overnight,” he said.
“I’m afraid when you deal with a country like Afghanistan, that is 1,000 years of history effectively and civil war, you manage its problems and you might have to manage it for 100 years.
“It’s not something that you just rock in, rock out and expect something to be fixed.”
US former national security adviser HR McMaster meanwhile slammed his country’s failure to realise the Taliban would swiftly take control, calling it “wilful ignorance”.
The retired army lieutenant general told Times Radio it was “clear that this kind of collapse was going to happen”, after the deal brokered by Trump, who sacked him in 2018.
The deal weakened the Afghan government and security forces and strengthened the Taliban, he said, adding: “We stood idly by and we turned a blind eye. This was utterly predictable.”_AP