On Afghanistan | Chris Loder MP

Date:

I was hoping to spend two entire days at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show but was forced to return to the House of Commons on the Wednesday for the debate on the Afghanistan crisis. Some may ask
why a rural MP from Dorset feels it important to return to take part in such a debate.

The answer is that the rapid developments in Afghanistan concern all of us. The consequences of the situation are serious for us here at home as well as abroad.

Events moved faster than anticipated; But first I’ll recap the lightning events of recent past which may go some way to explain why we are where we are today. First, the President of the United States, on July 8th, was categoric that what has happened in Afghanistan at the point of transition of US withdrawing would not happen! That was wrong. Either there was a systemic breakdown of
intelligence on the ground, or the President was advised that these events would not
materialise.
Not only does this cause us concern for the integrity of US intelligence, but it also raises questions for us to consider about the relationship between our two nations; and this in turn gives us concern for our foreign policy in the future.

Our Foreign Secretary. Many people have commented upon our Foreign Secretary being away when this first happened. I can assure you that Dominic Raab would not have been away if this was expected. But it further goes to question the integrity of US intelligence in Afghanistan and our reliance on it.

And we must remember that since April our Government recommended British citizens to leave Afghanistan because of the risks of western forces withdrawing from that country.

Animals v humans.
You may have heard of man called Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing a former Royal Marine turned founder of the Nowzad dogs charity. I have valued his work, especially with my interests in animal welfare ,and I don’t
criticise lightly. We have broad sympathy for his cause (animal welfare in Afghanistan) but I find it morally questionable that the Government bowed to his threatening behavior to officials to use airplane space for cats and dogs rather than vets and nurses – or the most vulnerable people needing to get
out – who will likely be executed, as my colleague Tom Tugenhat MP said last week.
I wholly agree with Tom and encourage you to refer to his powerful speech in the House of Commons on August 18. colleague Tom Tugenhat said last week. I wholly agree with him and encourage you to listen to his powerful speech in the House of Commons on 18th August (above).

by Chris Loder MP

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