The Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan two weeks before the U.S. is set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days as Afghan forces trained and equipped by the U.S. and its allies melted away. President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday and the Taliban rolled into the capital, Kabul. The U.S. and its allies still hold Kabul International Airport, where they are scrambling to evacuate civilians and diplomats on military aircraft. Many are worried for what comes next for Afghanistan. Sgt. Brian Moore, who spent 15 months embedded with the Afghan army in 2005 and 2006, spoke with the Morningline about local veteran reaction:
LONDON — British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace held back tears as he conceded that Britain was unlikely to be able to evacuate all its Afghan allies from Kabul.
Speaking on Monday via webcam on LBC Radio, Wallace said it was a “really deep part of regret for me” that not all Afghans eligible to come to the U.K. will be able to do so during the current evacuation drive.
In addition to the 4,000 or so U.K. nationals in Afghanistan, Britain is processing claims of Afghan citizens, such as interpreters, who have helped in the 20 years since first arrived following the 9/11 attacks.
A visibly emotional Wallace, a former captain in the Scots Guard. said that Britain will in the future “have to do our best in third countries to process those people.”
Asked why he felt the situation “so personally,” Wallace said it was because he was a soldier and “because it’s sad and the West has done what it’s done, and we have to do our very best to get people out and stand by our obligations and 20 years of sacrifice is what it is.”