09 Feb 23. Defence Committee publishes report on Afghanistan withdrawal. Today the Defence Committee publishes its report on the fallout of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The report highlights that several thousand Afghans eligible for evacuation remain in Afghanistan, well over a year since the withdrawal. The Committee calls on the Government to set out in what action they are taking to ensure safe passage to the United Kingdom for these people. The report argues that the withdrawal from Afghanistan demonstrates the limits of NATO’s military capability without US involvement, and concludes that fall of the Afghan Government represented a serious strategic blow to NATO and its allies. The report outlines concerns that Afghanistan is once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism.
The report calls on the Government to conduct an open, honest and detailed review on the UK’s involvement in Afghanistan.
Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said: “The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a dark chapter in UK military history. For the Afghans who cooperated with the UK, and the British Troops who served in the country, the nightmare is far from over. Well over a year since the end of Operation PITTING, thousands of Afghans eligible for evacuation remain in Afghanistan. They are at risk of harm as a direct result of assisting the UK mission. We can’t change the events that unfolded in August 2021, but we owe it to those Afghans, who placed their lives in danger to help us, to get them and their families to safety. The rapid fall of Kabul will have been painful to many of the British troops and veterans who served in Afghanistan. We welcome the additional funding that has been provided to veterans’ mental health charities since and the medals awarded to those who contributed to Operation PITTING. The bravery of those on the ground was never in doubt. The fallout from the withdrawal from Afghanistan will continue for generations to come. We need to get to grips with the factors that led to the Taliban’s swift return to power and the wider impact on global security. Today we’re calling for a Government inquiry into the withdrawal from Afghanistan to take an unflinching look at where we went wrong. It is only through this that we can learn the necessary lessons and prevent this from ever happening again. The Afghanistan we see today bears no resemblance to the country of two years ago. There should be no equivocation over the reality of the Taliban’s oppressive and brutal regime. Ultimately those who lost the most are the Afghan people.”
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Fleet Solid Support Ship contract
House of Commons written question 140048.
UIN 140048, tabled on 6 February 2023
Mr Kevan Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the price for the Fleet Solid Support Ship contract was adjusted to reflect that one of the parties was state-owned.
Answered on9 February 2023
No. The Fleet Solid Support ship competition was run strictly as set out in the rules contained in the Invitation to Negotiate, including the application of the evaluation criteria. These requirements, including the budget, were applicable to all prospective bidders in the competition from the outset.
Question for Ministry of Defence
Wentworth and Dearne
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish the updates to the (a) Integrated Review and (b) Defence Command Paper.
Mr Ben Wallace
Wyre and Preston North
Answered on 7 February 2023
On 21 September 2022, the Government announced its intention to refresh the Integrated Review. The IR Refresh is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office and the Defence Command Paper Refresh will be conducted by the Ministry of Defence after it has concluded.