I have been calling for America to show they are willing to fight anyone – and everyone! This goes against the beliefs of the gentle people that I bonded with when I was young. The Gentles believed our peaceful way of life would be attractive to just about everyone, and thus, we would have many nations on our side when we put down a un-peaceful nation. It looks like every major nation – is ready for war. The rule is – a world war is on the horizon. Consider how weak and beaten America appeared after Pearl Harbor.
- Adversaries such as Russia will question the West – minister
- Islamist militants will see Afghanistan as victory, he says
- Russian security official questions U.S. commitment to Ukraine
LONDON/MOSCOW, Aug 19 (Reuters) – The fate of Afghanistan after a 20-year war led by the United States means that the West’s resolve is now perceived as weak by major adversaries such as Russia, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Thursday.
Afghanistan’s war has cost several hundred thousand lives and trillions of dollars but the militant Islamist Taliban are now back in power, and the West’s leading powers are scrambling to evacuate their diplomats and Afghan staff from Kabul airport.
“What I’m uncomfortable with is that we have a world order now where resolve is perceived by our adversaries as weak, the West’s resolve,” Wallace told BBC TV.
“That is something we should all worry about: if the West is seen not to have resolve and it fractures, then our adversaries like Russia find that encouraging,” Wallace told LBC radio.Report ad
In Moscow, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council and one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, questioned Washington’s commitment to Ukraine in light of the rushed exit from Afghanistan. read more
Britain fears the Taliban’s return and the vacuum left by the West’s chaotic withdrawal will allow militants from al Qaeda to regain a foothold in Afghanistan, just 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
“Around the world, Islamists will see what they will view as a victory and that will inspire other terrorists,” Wallace said.
Russia’s Patrushev cast doubt on the resolve of the United States to protect its allies in Europe, citing Ukraine.Report ad
“Kyiv is obsequiously serving the interests of its overseas patrons, striving to get into NATO,” Patrushev told the Izvestia newspaper, referring to Ukrainian aspirations – strongly opposed by Moscow – to join the U.S.-led military alliance.
“But was the ousted pro-American regime in Kabul saved by the fact that Afghanistan had the status of a principal U.S. ally outside NATO? (No). A similar situation awaits supporters of the American choice in Ukraine,” predicted Patrushev.
Russia remains firmly focused on Ukraine after annexing its Crimea region in 2014 and backing an uprising that same year that has left eastern Ukraine in the hands of Russian-backed separatists. Kyiv says the conflict has killed 14,000 people.Reporting by Sarah Young and Guy Faulconbridge in London and Andrew Osborn in Moscow; Editing by Kate Holton, Michael Holden and Mark Heinrich
Anyone who has followed two decades of war will have found it hard to watch the Taliban seize control of Afghanistan, just days after US and British troops withdrew. But for those who served in the country and are now back in the UK, it has been almost unbearable.
At Catterick Garrison near Richmond in North Yorkshire, the largest British army garrison in the world, the mood among soldiers and ex-soldiers was one of disappointment and despair.
“It’s shameful. The political response has been shameful. I feel completely let down. It feels like we left them to rot,” said Anthony Kirkby, who spent 16 years in the Royal Signals and served in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010.
“I understand from a moral point of view why we pulled out. But we were not patient enough. We should have been more patient and sat back to give the Afghan forces the edge. We pulled out before they were mature enough to control the situation.”
Defense Secretary Austin contradicts Biden, says Americans beaten by Taliban trying to reach airport
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin contradicted President Biden on Friday, telling House lawmakers on a phone call that multiple Americans trying to reach the Kabul airport have been beaten by Taliban fighters, two lawmakers told Fox News. AdRECOMMENDEDDeals for Vintage PostcardsMicrosoft AdsHotel Beaugency ParisMicrosoft AdsColoring Postcards PersonalizedMicrosoft AdsMovies Out On DVDMicrosoft AdsGrey and Silver PostcardsMicrosoft AdsPersonalized State Prints with WordsMicrosoft Ads
Austin called the beatings “unacceptable,” a person on the phone call told Fox News. Austin’s remarks starkly contrasted with what Biden told reporters after his speech on Friday.
When asked about reports that some Americans were being blocked from reaching Hamid Karzai International Airport for evacuation, Biden denied that any Americans were having such trouble.
“To the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through people showing American passports,” Biden said, adding that “we know of no circumstance where American citizens, carrying an American passport,” were being blocked from reaching the airport.
“We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get in Kabul through the airport. We’ve made an agreement with with the Taliban thus far.”
Austin’s comments, which were first reported by Politico, marked the second time that the Biden administration contradicted what Biden told the public in his speech Friday.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby conceded that al Qaeda does have a “presence” in Afghanistan, even though Biden said that the terrorist group is “done” in Afghanistan.