“Where is Global Britain in Kabul?”

by time news

Time.news – In the hectic hours following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, indignation prevailed over the initial shock. First in the United States and soon after in the United Kingdom, criticisms of President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson have mounted hour after hour to force them to speak publicly. And if on Monday it was Biden’s turn to defend his decision to leave the country after twenty years, on Wednesday it was Johnson’s turn who, in the House of Commons, faced a barrage of criticism.

The hardest to digest came from her party mate and former Downing Street tenant, Theresa May. In a heartfelt speech, not without passionate indignation, he thundered from the benches of the majority: “Was it our intelligence that was so scarce or did we choose to follow the United States hoping for a stroke of luck to get out of it?”.

May also expressed concern that the UK has failed to put together an alternative NATO alliance capable of handling things differently. “What message are we sending to Russia and China? Is NATO equal to the situation?” is May’s lunge. And more harsh words: “This is a huge regression for UK foreign policy. Let’s talk about global Britain but where is this global Britain in the streets of Kabul? We will be judged for our actions, not for our words. “

The debate in the House of Commons took place after a weekend and a start to the week dramatically marked by images arriving from the Afghan capital.
Since Monday, European leaders have chased each other over the phone to seek a common approach, suddenly but not unexpectedly. Boris Johnson contacted the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to propose him an extraordinary G7 in videoconference with three main purposes: to deal with the humanitarian emergency in the country, to decide on a unified approach towards the new Taliban power and to weigh possible sanctions in the event of violations of human rights. The summit is expected to take place next week.

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Biden avoided contact with European leaders until Tuesday evening when, in the course of a phone call with Johnson, he finally agreed to participate in the extraordinary G7. It is not excluded that the rags will fly.

The need for these hours seems to be to save face at a time when public opinion is strongly shaken by the way in which it was decided to leave the country. On this Johnson and Biden need to square. On how to manage the real consequences of the choice, the two leaders will play the game independently and with their eyes turned to their specific electorate.

In this scenario, a united Europe can make a difference. The Afghan question is a crucial test case for asserting one’s credibility and demonstrating that it is up to the great challenges that the times impose.

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