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UK lawmakers criticize ‘absence’ of Afghan evacuation plan

May 24, 2022 GMT

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was a “disaster and betrayal” hampered by a lack of leadership from senior politicians and civil servants, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said in a report released Tuesday.

The committee criticized the Foreign Office for the “total absence” of a plan for evacuating Afghans who supported the U.K. mission despite knowing for 18 months that such an evacuation might be necessary.

This was compounded by the fact that there seemed to be no clear lines of leadership among political leaders, with decisions made on the basis of “untraceable and unaccountable political interventions,” the committee said in its report.

“The fact that the Foreign Office’s senior leaders were on holiday when Kabul fell marks a fundamental lack of seriousness, grip or leadership at a time of national emergency,” the committee said.

The report was based on an eight-month inquiry during which the committee heard testimony from 20 witnesses and reviewed written evidence from 36 organizations.