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30.08.2021 | Якщо це не поразка, тоді я не знаю, що це
Тобі Еллвуд, голова Комітету з оборони парламенту Британії - The Mail of Sunday

'To those that carried out the attack, know this - we will not forgive, we will not forget and we will hunt you down and make you pay.' Resolute words from the US President in response to this week's devastating terrorist attack in Kabul. But words alone cannot hide the uncomfortable truth: our world is now a more dangerous place than it was just a month ago. Why? Because President Biden's decision to follow through on Donald Trump's election promise to 'bring our troops home' was made with little thought as to what might happen next. The carnage that now unfolds illustrates what a monumental own goal this has been leaving the US and indeed the West with diminished credibility and influence. Afghanistan is now a more dangerous adversary than when we arrived there. Biden has gifted the Taliban $85 billion worth of abandoned US military equipment, including 600,000 weapons, 75,000 vehicles and 200 aircraft. The Taliban now have more Black Hawk attack helicopters than 85% of the world's countries. Worse, the President claims that leaving Afghanistan enables us to focus on the bigger geo-political threats of China and Russia. But look where Afghanistan sits - squarely between the two. China and Russia are already stepping into our shoes, ready and willing to finance and bolster the very people that allowed 9/11 to happen. And we will know little because, most critically, we have lost complete intelligence oversight of their plans as we have lost our eyes and ears on the ground. Now the country is in play again, we have no traction. US money, which propped up three-quarters of the Afghan Government's annual budget, is gone. But China has already offered $60 billion for access to the country's rich mineral resources. It was not as if Afghanistan was a terrible drain of the West's blood and treasure. Only 2,000 troops remained. Combat operations had ended in 2014. Yes, Afghanistan was messy, corrupt and the governance model we imposed totally inappropriate. But things were plodding in the right direction. It was entirely the wrong moment to withdraw troops. In short, we have cut and run. We have armed our enemy and handed them to Presidents Xi and Putin, our historic rivals. If this isn't what defeat looks like, I don't know what does. The magnitude of this single presidential decision is likely to be a turning point in the West's ability and desire to form alliances as a force for good. What a complete contrast to the energy and resolve of the G7 summit where Biden declared 'America is Back.' It has also shone a spotlight on how reactionary British foreign policy has become, lacking the bandwidth to offer our own strategic input. The so-called 'special relationship' isn't very special at a time, post-Brexit, when we need it to be close, effective and global in reach and ambition. I can confirm the back channels are not what they used to be. We have been kept out of the loop on all the strategic decisions involved in the deciding to withdraw. Our own ability to influence the Taliban is reduced to holding back aid spend if a ruthless interpretation of sharia law is pursued. But this will hold little sway given that much of this money is directed to supporting women's education and employment projects. So, it perfectly suits the Taliban's narrative to see the programmes fold. This is therefore a completely empty threat. We have lost all our leverage. And the Taliban will now turn to China for financial support who, given their own human rights track record, will place few conditions - other than securing access to Afghanistan's vast lithium deposits and other rare earth metals. My frustration about where we are today is all the more bitter because I am a supporter of President Biden. I welcomed his election victory, ending the dangerous isolationist policies of his predecessor. I was born in the States. I'm a dual national and have worked hard to develop friendships with both Democrats and Republicans. Indeed, I worked with Joe Biden before his Presidential candidacy on veteran's mental health issues. He was my special guest at a veterans event in the House of Commons. It's therefore with great sadness that I say his decision to withdraw now from Afghanistan is a huge geo-strategic blunder that can only benefit our enemies as well as heighten the threat of terrorism around the world. It's now 20 years since the twin towers fell and we had to confront the threat of global terrorism – a direct assault on our values. Similar attacks, smaller in scale, now take place on a regular drum beat, across the world. Yet, by leaving Afghanistan we are further away than ever from overcoming the extremist ideology where a suicide bomber believes he will be fast tracked to paradise if he is willing to conduct such attacks. We can drone strike as many as many ISIL-K as we like but the threat will persist and the attacks will continue. To be fair. the President is nothing if not consistent. Джерело: www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9937261/TOBIAS-ELLWOOD-Bidens-geo-strategic-blunder-Afghanistan.html


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