I understand there are many different concerns regarding the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and I hope you find it helpful to know my views on the matter as it now stands.

Twenty years ago, in 2001, the United States suffered the most catastrophic attack on its people since the Second World War, in which 67 British citizens also lost their lives, at the hands of murderous terrorist groups incubated in Afghanistan. 

In response, NATO invoked Article V of its Treaty, for the first and only time in its history, and the UK, amongst others, joined the US in going into Afghanistan in order to destroy Al Qaeda’s presence there. 

As our Prime Minister said in the House, the UK succeeded in that core mission.

The UK can be extremely proud of what has been done in Afghanistan over the last 20 years and we owe an immense debt of gratitude to the 150,000 British personnel who fought in Afghanistan, in particular the 457 who sadly lost their lives as well as those who sustained life-changing injuries, in service of this mission.

These men and women saved lives, denying terrorists a safe haven to launch attacks against the UK and our allies. 

Special mention must be given to over 600 troops that remain in Afghanistan, ensuring safe passage to the airport for those who are to be evacuated.

Their service and sacrifice enabled development that has improved millions of lives and transformed Afghan society. 

We carried our share of the NATO burden and gave hope to a generation of Afghan people.

It cannot be forgotten however, that the imposition of Western values may not be conducive to the way of life of a majority of Afghan people and we must accept that.

In North Herefordshire, we are lucky to have more than our fair share of high-ranking former military officers as residents.

I spoke with a retired General over the weekend to get his informed view on the subject.

In our discussions he reminded me that the original decision to withdraw from Afghanistan came over 10 years ago when President Obama announced all troops would be leaving.

Since then, the Taliban only had to wait for their moment to re-emerge in the country having been given ample warning that foreign forces would leave. They even announced this as their policy.

Though it may seem easy to seek to blame the US in the immediacy, we must be sure to remember key points in this two-decade intervention.

This remains pertinent as the Foreign Secretary seems to be at fault in the eyes of the media for a situation he would not have been able to prevent in a telephone call to his outgoing Afghan counterpart.

I am pleased that the Ministry of Defence has put provisions in place to support the safe evacuation of entitled personnel, British nationals, and former Afghan staff who risked their lives serving alongside UK Armed Forces. 

We have a duty of care to these people that must be upheld.

Thousands of locally employed Afghan staff who risked their lives supporting our military efforts have already been relocated to the UK with thousands more in the pipeline for evacuation before our drawdown is complete. 

I am encouraged that the Prime Minister has also committed to continuing to support Afghanistan and the wider region after the drawdown is complete. 

He has doubled the amount of humanitarian and development assistance that we had previously committed to Afghanistan this year, with new funding, taking it up to £286 million. 

A new and bespoke resettlement scheme has also been announced with the potential of accommodating up to 20,000 of the most vulnerable over the long-term.

Please be assured that I will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

I have enclosed below copies of letters I received from the Prime Minister and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.