Theresa May has lashed out at the government’s “incomprehensible and worrying” failure to help prevent the loss of Afghanistan to the Taliban.
In biting comments in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson’s predecessor in Downing Street said events in the Middle East were a “major setback” for British foreign policy, adding: “We boast about Global Britain, but where is Global Britain on the streets of Kabul?”
She continued: “What does it say about NATO if we are entirely dependent on a unilateral decision taken by the United States?
“I do find it incomprehensible and worrying that the United Kingdom was not able to bring together not a military solution but an alternative alliance with countries to continue to provide the support necessary to sustain a government in Afghanistan.”
Citing comments made by Johnson and US president Joe Biden doubting the possibility of the Taliban rapidly seizing power, May asked MPs: “Was our intelligence really so poor?
“Was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak? Was our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate? Did we really believe this, or did we just feel we had to follow the United States and hope that on a wing and a prayer it would be alright on the night?”
"What does it say about us as a country… if we are entirely dependent on a unilateral decision taken by the United States?"— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) August 18, 2021
Former PM Theresa May criticises "major setback for British foreign policy… where is global Britain on the streets of Kabul?"https://t.co/ztMwRD3adT pic.twitter.com/JS82m0LvAu
The former Conservative leader added: “The reality is that as long as this time limit was given and dates given for withdrawal, all the Taliban had to do was to ensure there were sufficient problems for the Afghan government not to be able to have full control of the country and then just sit and wait.”
In a scathing speech, May also hit out at former president Donald Trump for choosing to “do a deal” with the Taliban in Qatar last year.
“What President Biden has done is upheld a decision that was made by President Trump,” she said.
“What we’ve seen from the scenes in Afghanistan is that it hasn’t been all right on the night, so I say that there are many in Afghanistan who fear not just that their lives will be irrevocably changed for the worse, but who fear for their lives.”