Afghanistan: In the midst of charges of intelligence failure, a leaked document contradicts Raab’s statement.
According to a leaked official Foreign Office (FCDO) memo, BORIS JOHNSON was warned as early as July 22 that the withdrawal of US soldiers from Afghanistan would result in “rapid Taliban advances.”
It also shows that despite getting warnings that Kabul was in danger of collapse, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab chose to go on vacation. An internal FCDO document, the Principle Risk Register report, was leaked to Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and was seen by Sky News. The paper warned that the US army departure may result in “cities collapsing,” “security forces collapsing,” and that the British embassy “could need to close if security deteriorates.”
The document was released more than three weeks before the UK government initiated Operation Pitting, a mission to evacuate British citizens from Afghanistan, in the middle of August.
“The Foreign Office’s own principle risk report indicated the risk of catastrophic failure in Afghanistan in July, on 22 July – and now we are witnessing, even today, people who didn’t make it out in time,” Mr Tugendhat told Sky News.
“There is a lesson to be learned there,” says the narrator.
“To claim that this paper is in any way at odds with our thorough assessments of the situation in Afghanistan or our public position throughout the crisis is just inaccurate and misleading,” the Foreign Office stated.
“The July document makes clear that our fundamental planning assumption at the time was that the peace process in Afghanistan would last up to another six months,” a spokeswoman added.
Mr Raab told a committee of MPs earlier on Wednesday that intelligence assessments suggested Kabul, the capital city, would be “unlikely” to fall this year.
There looked to be a “problem” with intelligence, according to Mr Tugendhat.
“Well, it is fairly evident that there are two types of intelligence failures: there are those failures where the intelligence agency failed to produce intelligence – and that is the traditional use of the word,” he explained.
“There’s also a second type of intelligence failure, where the principal didn’t read it.
“You can’t blame the spies if the officers don’t read the report,” she says.
It comes as the Government confirms that it is in talks with the Taliban to facilitate the safe passage of British nationals still stranded in Afghanistan.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” for example.