Afghanistan: How Britain should respond to crisis – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

Some hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16. 2021. Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac of Kabul's international airport, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto an American military jet as it took off and fell to their death. (Verified UGC via AP).

THAT image captured on TV of the giant American plane taking off with bodies clinging to it will haunt me for the rest of my days.

Not so the blatherings in the House of Commons last Wednesday with the exception of the handful of MPs who have seen military service, and spoke from the heart and experience rather than scoring political points.

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Of course, we must try to help these desperate people, but don’t forget we live in an increasingly small island, population-wise.

An Afghan child walks near military uniforms as he with elders wait to leave the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images).

Calderdale has been mentioned as a possible area to house some of these people. Let’s not forget levelling up. An excellent site to my mind would be in or around Chequers. Lots of unused rooms and plenty of land for house building. Charity begins at home, Boris Johnson.

We should also be aware of the potential threat to those brave and possibly terrified army and RAF personnel who are trying in dreadful circumstances to extricate as many people as possible from Kabul.

From: Rev Dr John Cameron, Howard Place, St Andrews.

WHILE assuring Americans “the buck stops with me”, President Biden clearly blames everyone but himself for the foreign policy catastrophe unfolding in Afghanistan.

Afghan people sit along the tarmac as they wait to leave the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images).

In a rambling, petulant speech he accused President Obama of starting the debacle by surging US forces to fend off the Taliban; President Trump for negotiating a deal with the Taliban committing US forces to leave this year; and Afghan troops for being unwilling to defend their own country. But the fact is that since taking charge of the ground war in 2014, the Afghans lost over 50,000 men but fought the Taliban to a military stalemate.

Biden’s impulsive, impractical decision to withdraw US air support and intelligence information regarding the disposition and strength of Taliban severely affected Afghan troops and depressed their morale. His closure of seven military bases at the height of the fighting season precipitated their collapse.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

THANKS again to Jayne Dowle for expressing the thoughts of so many of us in the ongoing Afghanistan tragedy and its likely effect on their and our children and grandchildren (The Yorkshire Post, August 19).

Let’s not forget that our involvement came about from yet another historic, forelock-tugging “whatever you say Mr President”. Though seemingly a vast improvement on Donald Trump, I wonder where we’ll stand – or rather bend the knee – when it comes to President Biden?

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

THERESA May struck exactly the right tone in Parliament over Afghanistan. Just a shame that she was treated so shabbily by her party over Brexit. Irrespective of the circumstances, she always put duty first.

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