BBC Newsnight: UK's former Defence is sad and angry with situation in Kabul
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Lord Richards has criticised US President Joe Biden over his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, a move that heightened tensions in the country. On Thursday, 13 US soldiers and at least 60 Afghan civilians were killed in twin suicide bombings by ISIS-K. The attack reignited fury towards President Biden, with the peer slamming the US leader for the “stupidity” of the withdrawal.
Lord Richards told BBC Newsnight: “In the short term, sadly, we have no alternatives. You know, it makes me very angry now.
“I’ve been very sad to see what’s happening.
“Now I’m getting very angry at the stupidity of the decision-making and lack of statecraft that has led to this awful situation in Kabul and particularly at the airport.”
He went on: “But the fact is that if you were writing a Staff College exercise, this would be to horrendous a scenario for the authors to put into it.
“There cannot be a worst non-combative evacuation environment than what we see unfolding in front of us.
“We are entirely beholden to the Taliban if we aggravate the Taliban.”
“And perhaps coined by ISIS-K to add insult to injury.
“So we’re stuck where we are because of the way we have gotten ourselves into this position.”
On Thursday, ISIS-K struck at the heart of Kabul, setting off an explosion outside Kabul airport and another at the nearby Baron Hotel.
The attacks killed at least 13 U.S. service members and around 90 Afghan civilians.
At least 150 people were also wounded in the attack.
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The suicide bombings came just hours after the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand warned crowds trying to access Kabul airport to leave the area as they were alerted of such a threat.
“The sooner we can finish, the better,” Biden said from the White House on Tuesday.
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