The situation across Afghanistan is of grave concern and the scene is set for more bloodshed, vengeance and unrest. The sense of disbelief and regret is understandable but are we really surprised by the Taliban insurgence once President Biden publicly committed to withdrawing US troops?
The work to find a peaceful and political solution with the Taliban and Afghan Government was hopeful but the leverage was always the existence and power of US troops on the ground.
Normally speaking we may not be overly concerned by this civil war 3758 miles away but families in West Cornwall lost loved ones and men in West Cornwall still live with the injuries and damage inflicted by the war in Afghanistan. I remember well the anguish and heartache of those at the funeral service of one of our fallen servicemen who died in the conflict. Many will ask, following recent developments, whether the sacrifice was in vain?
Firstly, I don’t believe anything will really justify the loss of a loved one but it is very important to note that for two decades Afghanistan has been a very different place to live especially for girls and women. To fight for greater equality and access to education has to be worth it and I hope that some consolation will come to those whose grief is being relived to know that good has come out of our involvement in Afghanistan. We must not allow this progress to be squandered.
As Parliament reconvenes this week, our resolve must be twofold: to protect the progress that has been made and to safeguard all those who choose to live in peace and in hope. We owe it to them and I hope that, however weary the Western World feels, we cut off every resource available to those whose intent is to disrupt, pillage and kill and defend the rights and work to resource everyone whose motivation is to build peace and stability.
I feel very strongly about this because West Cornwall has already given so much to fight for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. As I travelled to London I took time to remember every family impacted by our involvement in this very difficult situation for 20 years.