Afghanistan’s Hard Lessons. A British Perspective.

By Tim Willasey-Wilsey

Tim Willasey-Wilsey served for over 27 years in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is now Visiting Professor of War Studies at King's College, London. His first overseas posting was in Angola during the Cold War followed by Central America during the instability of the late 1980s. He was also involved in the transition to majority rule in South Africa and in the Israel/Palestine issue. His late career was spent in Asia including a posting to Pakistan in the mid 1990s.

Tim Willasey-Wilsey is a former senior British diplomat and now a Senior Visiting Fellow at King’s College London’s Department of War Studies.

The probability is that United States and British troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan irrespective of Taliban non-compliance with the terms of the Doha agreement of 29th. February and its secret annexes. It is hard to see how 8,600 US and 780 British troops can remain if the agreement breaks down and the country descends into chaos. The chances of the allied presence in the country being reinforced in the event of Taliban non-compliance are negligible. Even if there is no Saigon-style departure it will be an ignominious end for an intervention which was so successful in 2001 and so promising until 2006.

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