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‘Our troops are coming home – but it could have been so tragically different’

Soldiers and the RAF can be proud of airlifting 10,000 Afghans and 5,000 Brits out of the clutches of the Taliban but the same cannot be said for Joe Biden and Boris Johnson.

They can be justifiably proud of airlifting 10,000 Afghans and 5,000 Brits out of the clutches of the Taliban

There is huge relief that our troops are due home safe and sound by Sunday morning. It could ­easily have been so tragically different.

But the soldiers, the RAF and the diplomats did a magnificent job in impossible circumstances.

They can be justifiably proud of airlifting 10,000 Afghans and 5,000 Brits out of the clutches of the Taliban.

And it is not their fault they had to leave at least 1,000 behind to an uncertain and perilous fate.

The blame for that lays squarely with the politicians. With Joe Biden and Boris Johnson for failing to see the Taliban coming.

Had they done so, many more of those now at risk could have been taken out of the country earlier.

They include a British forces translator we spoke to after the Taliban beat him up and trashed his evacuation papers as he headed to the airport.

There must be a reckoning, but now the mission has changed. We have given Afghan refugees a safe haven, and now we must help them settle in.

Hard-pressed local authorities will have to find them housing. And councils will need more than the piffling £5million the Government has earmarked to for that.

But the precedent of successfully resettling 20,000 Syrians in this country means the omens are good. We did so out of humanitarian compassion as they fled a war not of our making.

Our obligation to Afghans is greater as none of this would have happened had we not started a war in their homeland in the first place.

Boris Johnson calls this resettlement programme Operation Warm Welcome.

And a warm welcome is the least we can offer to those who have given Britain so much.




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