The threat to the UK from terrorist groups like al Qaeda will grow if allies turn their back on Afghanistan after troops withdraw, Sir Alex Younger, the previous head of MI6, has warned.
The former spy chief said it would be an “enormous mistake” to neglect the country as happened back in 1989 when an earlier intervention by the then Soviet Union ended.
Sir Alex, a veteran of the fight against terrorism following the 11 September attacks on America in 2001, predicted the most likely outcome for Afghanistan now is civil war between a resurgent Taliban and the US and UK-backed Afghan government.
The Kremlin is also voicing concerns ….
Regardless, it is time to come home. The global counterterrorism campaign has seen Al Qaeda’s core leadership decimated and their ability to carry out complex overseas operations seriously degraded. If we need to return at some point in the future, so be it. There is a high likelihood that any such circumstances would fall into the realm of special operations (small footprint, get in and get out) as opposed to regular forces.