What for NATO and the West now?

The weakness  President Biden demonstrated in the Middle East over Afghanistan was unfortunate. It should not be repeated elsewhere.  The President wanted to be closer to allies  but has instead upset them by his unilateral and unwise decision. That is all the more reason for him now to draw closer in other places where alliances are important.

In Korea the USA still maintains a substantial military presence to support the South Korean forces. North Korea with its erratic autocrat in charge needs to know that the USA continues with her long term commitment to support the South. So  does China need to understand that trying to control her wayward neighbouring state.

President Biden has in the past made clear he will support Taiwan. He will need to do so again, and be ready to respond to any further tests of resolve from Chinese naval vessels and planes coming close to the island. NATO as a whole is engaged, with naval vessels from other NATO countries assisting the USA in keeping open international waters in the South China Sea.

In eastern Europe NATO has forces in the Baltic Republics as a reminder to Russia that they have chosen to be allies of the West. US rapid reaction forces are an important part of the NATO support.

The world has just got even more dangerous with the collapse of the Afghan government and the release of prisoners from Afghan jails. Counter terrorism is a daily task for many years, not something democratic countries can get bored with or pretend the need  has gone away. There are regular challenges to western defences by conventional weapons and  by many cyber probes and assaults. Some come from rogue states or from terrorist groups. Some are tolerated if not directed  by large states that the West has to do business with. This requires clear leadership, defining lines of conduct and imposing sanctions or responding as needed where lines are crossed. After Afghanistan President Biden will have to be tougher and clearer to avoid more disasters elsewhere. UK diplomacy could help rebuild trust between the USA and the allies, assuming President Biden recognises the need to reassert US leadership against violent and unacceptable conduct.

172 Comments

  1. Gary Megson
    August 31, 2021

    And as for Britain? All bridges burned with Europe. Regarded in Washington as irrelevant, with a lightweight PM, as our humiliation in Kabul shows. Well done Brexiters, at a very dangerous time you have succeeded in makiing Britain weaker and more isolated than we have been for many centuries. Even in 1940 we had the Commonwealth and brave Poles and Czechs with us. Not now

    1. Ian Wragg
      August 31, 2021

      Rubbish. The EU never were our allies.
      If push came to shove we could still rely on the Poles, certainly not the Germans.
      You write absolute tosh.

      1. DavidJ
        September 1, 2021

        +1

    2. Peter
      August 31, 2021

      Gary Megson was not much good at football management either.

    3. beresford
      August 31, 2021

      How have we burned bridges with Europe? We’ve withdrawn from a political project, following all the rules to do so and offering an exceptionally generous golden goodbye. All the bile is coming from the project members, who saw us as a milk cow.

      1. MiC
        August 31, 2021

        Oh dear, I thought that John was made of sterner stuff.

        All that I tried to do was to remind the dear reader of what Johnson called the French.

        1. Peter2
          September 1, 2021

          Oh dear MiC
          Don’t say one of your multiple daily posts hasn’t been published.
          What snippets of your political genius have we been deprived of?

    4. formula57
      August 31, 2021

      @ GaryMegson – Indeed you are right, it is “Well done Brexiters” for now there is a better chance than for a long while of the U.K. being able to pursue its own interests with very much less chance of being embroiled in its traditional role of pulling others’ chestnuts out of the fire. (Even that role was often bearable enough until Blair thought it should be performed to earn gratitude. The stupidity!)

      Alas, as Sir John warns, the risk now is our Foreign Office busies itself with trying to see if “UK diplomacy could help rebuild trust between the USA and the allies”. That could lead to all manner of entanglements and unwanted commitments so let us hope you are not too wrong about contemporary Britain.

    5. Sea_Warrior
      August 31, 2021

      I disagree, strongly. Sentient Americans will look at British actions in Afghanistan and probably think that, even with Fred Scuttle in No 10, we have done better than the White House. And our relationship with our Commonwealth friends has been energised by our freeing ourselves from the shackles of domination by the Evil Empire. And there’s more good to come!

      1. JPM
        September 1, 2021

        I’m not sure that most Americans cast their eyes much beyond their own shores (and I include family in that assessment), so I doubt that Britain’s more purposeful response to the approaching deadline in Afghanistan will have impacted much beyond their armed forces, who, I believe, decided to emulate their British and NATO colleagues in actively seeking out evacuees beyond the queues at the airport.

        There is no doubt, however, that the role servicemen and veterans play in American society and politics will mean that this debacle will not be forgotten when elections come around. As to whether there’s more good to come, there’s certainly the opportunity for that to be true, but all depends on the willingness of the government to act decisively…

        We will see.

    6. Mike Wilson
      August 31, 2021

      Oh dear, hogwash from the first word to the last. The only bridges burned with ‘Europe’ are those burned with the EU commission – who hate our guts for having the guts to thwart their grab for power.

      You might be happy with 50% youth unemployment in countries that should never have adopted the Euro. I am not.

    7. Enrico
      August 31, 2021

      We have only withdrawn from the Eu not Europe and we are still the primary force not just in Europe but also the commonwealth.What Brexit has to do with it goodness only knows but you obviously do.Please enlighten the country!!

    8. Lifelogic
      August 31, 2021

      +1, alas Appeaser May and even Boris saw the UK as a milk cow too. The latter offering up Northern Ireland.

      JR typically understated with “The weakness President Biden demonstrated in the Middle East over Afghanistan was unfortunate” it is an appalling disaster and way self inflicted with grow incompetence too.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 31, 2021

        It is an appalling disaster & worse it is self inflicted and carried out with gross negligence & total incompetence. – rather.

    9. Mitchel
      August 31, 2021

      It’s not Brexit,it’s the unstoppable shift of power from west to east that’s left us irrelevant.They should reformat the Mercator map,tilting it to the South a little and pushing the UK and Spain to the peripheral left with The Pacific and the Americas on the right;that would give a better indication of where the centre of the world now is-and used to be until recent centuries.

      Geostrategically we may as well return to wearing animal skins and painting our faces with woad.

      The animal skins will,of course,be faux and the woad organic.

    10. IanT
      August 31, 2021

      I thought we left the EU – not Europe – there being a distinct difference between the two (one being a political union – the other being a continent) that some to not understand.

    11. Pauline Baxter
      August 31, 2021

      Come off it Gary.
      You Remainers have not a leg to stand on.
      In what way did Britain have ANY voice as part of EU?

      1. Gary Megson
        September 1, 2021

        We were one of the big three countries, in a group of 27 countries which is the most powerful bloc the planet has ever seen. We got our way on most things, from Margaret Thatcher’s single market, to eastern enlargement, to securing our opt outs from the euro and Schengen. We had the best deal imaginable. Now? Marginalised, irrelevant . As our humiliation in ceding Northern Ireland shows, even Ireland matters more than the UK now. That’s your precious “independence”, Brexiters – the UK is the unpopular kid stuck in the corner of the classroom with no friends because he spends his time throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get his own way

        Reply It was not Mrs Thatchers single market. It was a huge power grab by the EEC

        1. Gary Megson
          September 1, 2021

          Mrs Thatcher regraded it as one of her finest achievements. And rightly so. Sad that the modern (sic!!) Conservative party seems to want to trash her legacy

      2. MiC
        September 1, 2021

        It had the second highest number of MEPs after Germany, seventy-odd, re their ninety or so.

        Like them, France, and italy, it had the maximum, twenty-nine, population-weighted voted in the Council. Ireland had seven, for instance.

        It had its veto.

        It had its Commissioner and Minister.

        It was one of the Big Three, now replaced by Italy.

        1. Micky Taking
          September 1, 2021

          so the EU thought UK population was worth 70 odd, France and Italy 29?
          I think you have just explained why the EU Budget was always an unaudited mess where nothing balanced nor got checked.

          1. MiC
            September 1, 2021

            Reread and understand this time.

            Make a habit of it and you will embarrass yourself less often.

        2. Lord Ted
          September 1, 2021

          Spot on. We were big players in a big powerful grouping. Now we’re on our own. Brexit is an act of cowardice, it’s running away from the big decisions which – from climate change to refugees to trade to Afghanistan – cannot be taken by one country on its own. Brexiters are frit, as Margaret would have said

    12. jon livesey
      August 31, 2021

      That is magical thinking. Do you seriously suppose that if we had remained in the EU Biden would have carried out the evacuation from Kabul even slightly differently? Or do you suppose that if we had remained in the EU mighty Europe would have stepped in to save the day in Afghanistan?

      This is typical of the daft thinking that lies behind Remain. Nothing in the past two weeks had anything at all to do with Brexit. In fact we probably did slightly better by not having to pander to “allies” that only debate and regulate and never make a positive contribution to anything.

      Remainers are still dreaming a dream in which the EU counts for anything, when it does not, and everyone knows it.

      1. Len Peel
        September 1, 2021

        So many things going badly but never Brexit’s fault … keep whistling mate

    13. ChrisS
      August 31, 2021

      Gary, you are mistaken : We have good relations with the former Eastern Bloc countries, especially Poland ! Britain is leading a NATO multinational battlegroup as part of an enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

      The force includes troops from the above countries plus contingents from France and Denmark.

    14. No Longer Anonymous
      September 1, 2021

      What are you talking about ?

      GB was the strongest military power in the EU !

  2. Peter
    August 31, 2021

    I don’t think I would describe Biden’s weakness as ‘unfortunate’. You can overdo diplomatic language.

    All the fears about Biden’s suitability for leadership are proving correct.

    I don’t know the process for removing a president or even if it will be initiated.

    1. JoolsB
      August 31, 2021

      Exactly Peter, we can all think of a much more appropriate description of Biden’s behaviour and it’s not unfortunate and yet our politicians and their leaders continue to kowtow to the USA instead of calling them out for their idiotic actions including Biden’s utter contempt towards their greatest ally in both not consulting Johnson and their latest attempt to blame the U.K. for the terrorist attack at Kabul airport. Why has no U.K. Government Minister responded to this outrageous accusation?

      The so called special relationship, that was only ever one way anyway, is over.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        September 1, 2021

        A serious lack of scrutiny and criticism from the BBC on Joe Biden.

        Contrast John Sopel’s Tweet under Trump “A day off tweeting about Trump” Total silence on Biden.

        During the Presidential elections the BBC went quiet on the issues that have made Biden so dangerous in office.

    2. Sea_Warrior
      August 31, 2021

      It’ll be a 25th Amendment job, initiated by a majority of the Cabinet being prepared to say he’s no longer mentally fit for office. Harris then becomes President and Pelosi steps up to Veep. But if the Democrats wait until after the mid-terms, when Congress will flip, they will lose the ability to get their pick of Veep, so I think that means that Pelosi has a strong motivation to move against Biden’s presidency. Just when one thinks that America can’t be governed any worse, along comes a Harris-Pelosi administration.

      1. JPM
        September 1, 2021

        Ouch!

        1. JPM
          September 1, 2021

          Apologies, this was intended for elsewhere.

    3. Lifelogic
      August 31, 2021

      Indeed diplomatic language and political correctness is so often just lying. But then as a politician this is so often required of you. Rabb still seems to think this shambolic withdrawal was a great achievement. He still also still thinks the wet markets were the most likely source of Covid. Surely these are just lies (or is he really so daft that he actually thinks this?

    4. jon livesey
      August 31, 2021

      There is an offical way to remove a President, either Article 25 or impeachment, but there are also unofficial ways, as Nixon found out.

  3. Newmania
    August 31, 2021

    A deal negotiated by Donald Trump but nonetheless a depressing fiasco demonstrating how little the UK matters to the US.
    It may be that this country estranged global Liberal opinion, destabilised a key Western institution, and alienated everyone bar Le Pen Trump the like, but Britain is still Britain. After 9.11 the US looked for global support and one country could be relied on…us.
    My wife and I were in New York not long afterwards and people would shake our hands and thank us. I supported our efforts in Iraq and I still do , I support Western power being used for peace and order I believe in the West its values , which is one reason I loathe Brexit.
    The US has quickly forgotten who its friends were at that time and I resent it .

    1. Richard1
      August 31, 2021

      Many of the most dependable Western allies, the US (pre-Biden), Canada, Australia, Japan are not and never have been members of the EU.

      1. jerry
        August 31, 2021

        @Richard1; Surely the issue is about NATO involvement, post 9/11 (2001), not post 1945, the UK and most of the countries [1] you cite went to the combative aid of the USA in their time of need, not ours -the one and only time the NATO covariance has ever been enacted.

        [1] I believe both Germany and Japan gave only humanitarian support, due to their post WW2 constitutions, as written by the USA

        1. Len
          September 1, 2021

          80 billion worth of left behind equipment. What’s the message John? Fight the Americans if you want to get rich? This is designed to make jihadist seem glamourous. Yet again the prestige of our nation’s sacrificed on the altar of the military industrial complex.

      2. Mitchel
        August 31, 2021

        I wouldn’t describe Japan as a dependable ally-it is more the fact that it is still under US occupation and tends to tow the line -when it’s interests are not harmed.It faces both China and Russia-the latter only a few miles distant-and has difficult relations with both Koreas and China.It looks longingly at the resources of Russia and is scared by the ever closer ties between China and Russia.I believe the new-ish Japanese PM may be meeting Mr Putin at this weeks annual Far Eastern Economic summit in Vladivostok.

        It is worth getting your history books out and looking at what happened in this part of the world in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.The intense interest of that period is returning.

    2. Sea_Warrior
      August 31, 2021

      The EU thought of us as nothing more than ‘Treasure Island’, giving us no credit for freeing the Continent from Nazi domination in WW2. I resented that.

      1. MiC
        August 31, 2021

        The Russians spent 25 million lives doing most of the heavy lifting in that struggle, so if the European Union didn’t see fit to give them credit, then why would it make a great fuss about this country’s modest-by-comparison sacrifices?

        1. Micky Taking
          September 1, 2021

          Disgraceful nonsense. Russia suffered those terrible loses due to Hitler’s attack, nothing to do with the Allies wanting to create a massive dilution of force.
          You should be ashamed to describe the horrendous damage to this country in terms of lives lost, families destroyed, homes ruined, economy trashed, infrastructure couldn’t cope for a decade after etc. Explain your position to descendants of those who were directly involved.

          1. MiC
            September 1, 2021

            Aye, and far fewer died in the Blitzkrieg here than did thanks to the disastrous handling of the first covid19 wave.

            Otherwise your point – whatever it might be – seems simply unintelligible.

        2. JPM
          September 1, 2021

          You’re right to highlight the losses of the Soviet Union in World War II, but that doesn’t mean that our own efforts weren’t substantial and the threat existential.

          There is no doubt that,when Britain stood alone against the Nazis, a negotiated ceasefire would have been a safer but morally bankrupt bet.

          At the same time the Soviet Union had a newly negotiated non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany and a joint plan to split Poland between them, and were happy to stand by, delaying their seizure of Warsaw so that the uprising in the ghetto could be put down, and let’s not forget their murder of the 4,000 Polish officers in the Katyn forest.

          It’s also worth noting that European resistance movements, such as they were, were enabled almost exclusively by Britain and later the USA. The Russians treated partisans as future class enemies, and executed them on sight.

          These are perhaps reasons why the EU should be grateful to Britain, and perhaps less so to Russia.

        3. NickC
          September 1, 2021

          It was the Soviet Socialist government that “spent” the majority of those 25m Russian lives, Martin, before, during and after WW2. And how many Polish and other east European (and, indeed, British) lives were “spent” because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which divided up Poland between the two socialist dictatorships, and gave Germany free rein to conquer western Europe?

      2. Hazlet
        August 31, 2021

        Well we didn’t do it all by ourselves – we had the help from Commonwealth countries diverse Europesn peoples and the USA not to mention hundreds of thousands of malcontents from countries who were just plain anti fascist

    3. Ed M
      August 31, 2021

      Afghanistan and Brexit are pretty irrelevant
      Sovereignty is a great thing but the ends don’t justify the means. The means are lousy. But Brexiters won and everyone has to unite under that Democratic decision and get on with it.
      Meanwhile let’s not forget the lessons of Bush and Blair starting stupid wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      1. MiC
        August 31, 2021

        “Has to”? Says which law, exactly?

        1. JPM
          September 1, 2021

          I think that the implication was rather that we should all unite, if only for the sake of our mental health.

          If it’s not too late, and you’re determined to continue to fight this lost cause, then I commend you St Jude.

        2. NickC
          September 1, 2021

          The law of unintended consequences, Martin. If you won’t give loser’s consent when I win, why should I when you win?

          1. MiC
            September 1, 2021

            Everyone who has not broken and who does not intend to break the law to reverse the referendum result has given “loser’s consent”, Nick.

            That’s the end of it, pal.

    4. jon livesey
      August 31, 2021

      ” The US has quickly forgotten who its friends were at that time and I resent it .”

      I don’t think the US has “forgotten” anything. I think they had some good reason for not consulting any of their allies, and we simply don’t know yet what it was.

    5. No Longer Anonymous
      September 1, 2021

      There were plenty of Trump things that Biden repealed. Yesterday Biden said “There was no alternative to withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

      Biden owns this.

  4. Nig l
    August 31, 2021

    Clear leadership. Bumbling Biden and Boris, like pasta, bends as soon as the water gets hot. Supported in the U.K. by the chaotic unprepared FCO? Please get real.

    And in related news, not one of the £168 billion defence procurement projects is on time or budget. Just a continuing theme for decades with useless Ministers and Civil Servants wringing their hands and promising to do better next time.

    And at Heathrow the Home Office demonstrated its contempt for the public by making them wait, including children, for many hours in non distanced queues. What an advertisement of brand U.K. to international travellers.

    Talking of contempt, this time for the older generation, it is expected the triple lock promise will be broken on affordability terms whilst the MOD gets away with wasting many billions.

    Instead of spending your time battling and berating the BBC, that frankly most of the public couldn’t care less about, let the scales fall from you eyes, acknowledge the vast inefficiency of central government and lack of effective leadership and management and get stuck in to form an ERG type group, to hold them to account and force them to improve.

    Michael Gove flailing his arms about (on the dance floor) is a good metaphor for this administration.

    1. Peter Wood
      August 31, 2021

      Nig1, Very Well Said. You covered a lot of ground and every point true. I wonder how many in the PCP would be prepared to split and for a real Conservative Party. Makes you dream…

    2. Everhopeful
      August 31, 2021

      +1
      The flailing certainly makes me wonder exactly what fuels this “government”!
      The chaotic incoherence is scarcely normal.

      1. Micky Taking
        September 1, 2021

        was that flailing, or failing?

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      August 31, 2021

      I have no more love for the failing establishment than you Nig1 but pray tell, what did Michael Gove do wrong?

      We ask the politicians to get closer to the people and be normal. Seems he had a good time without offending many.

    4. majorfrustration
      August 31, 2021

      +2

    5. X-Tory
      August 31, 2021

      The failure of UK defence procurement is an absolute disgrace. The one man who was determined to tackle this shambles – Dominic Cummings – was forced out, and all the guilty men remain in place. Nothing will EVER improve until the government start sacking civil servants who fail. But this needs a change in the rules of employment for civil servants, and that would mean Boris having to have a backbone. He doesn’t, so nothing will happen, and the procurement disasters will just go on and on. There is NO HOPE.

    6. Mitchel
      August 31, 2021

      What was Gove doing…. the funky chicken or the mashed potato?!

      1. Lifelogic
        August 31, 2021

        As in the famous Cadbury’s Smash adverts perhaps?

      2. JPM
        September 1, 2021

        I think it was the Mashed Chicken, although it could have been the Funky Potato…

    7. Pauline Baxter
      August 31, 2021

      Nig1 and major frustration. While I agree that our armed forces need more and better planned investment, remember that they are there to DEFEND THE U.K. Not to participate in overseas aggression.

    8. NickC
      September 1, 2021

      I know why defence contracts are over-budget shambles because I took part in one. The procurements are started, or modified, for political reasons so are not rooted in reality; run by people who think “doing something” means writing a report; transfixed by excessive bureaucracy; characterised by inappropriate rigidity; start in unwarranted optimism, and end in despair. All overlaid by cynicism and dishonesty. The civil service should never ever run a defence procurement program. They have the wrong skill set.

  5. alan jutson
    August 31, 2021

    You are correct the world is now a more dangerous place, so even more important and effective should be our border policy, to combat any infiltration by people who wish us harm into our Country.

    How many illegal people, about whom we know absolutely nothing crossed the Channel and gained entry into the UK just last week ?

    1. NickC
      September 1, 2021

      Well, Alan, as I have said before, the UK should put a moratorium on all immigration for 20 years. The only exceptions I would make would be for genuine refugees who have helped us in the past (eg: Afghan translators) and those for whom we have prior obligations (eg: some of the people from Hong Kong). If families want to re-unite then the recent immigrant here can go back home.

  6. Iain Moore
    August 31, 2021

    Mathew Syed on the SKY paper review yesterday evening pointed to a poll of Afghans who were 80 to 90% in favour of Sharia law, stoning to death of women etc , yet these are the people Johnson is looking to cram into our country to further enrich us .

    It was a British Governments motion in the UN which demanded of the Taliban to allow all Afghans who want to leave , to allow them to go, no doubt Johnson has his eye on the further enrichment of our country. The way things have already panned out there is little hope the British state will stop IS terrorists from entering our country. No doubt straight from the Afghan jails to here.

    The RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston has added his two penny worth this morning saying… “Ultimately what this boils down to is that we’ve got to be able to play a global role in the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh” going on to contemplate drone strikes. It all sounds like paper tiger stuff, all puff and no substance, the product of British Government’s hollowing out our military. The way things are going if there are any drone strikes needed, they are more likely to be needed here.

  7. Everhopeful
    August 31, 2021

    According to msm the U.K. bears responsibility re the US botched withdrawal!
    You really couldn’t make it up in a nightmare.
    And one leading newspaper is lionising the T and celebrating their “victory”.
    I am shocked actually.

  8. MPC
    August 31, 2021

    Even if President Biden improves from now on and NATO ‘comes together’, the damage is done to the UK with the now increased likelihood of illegal in-migration from Afghanistan across the Channel from those intent on doing us harm. Furthermore, many of those single young men with their iPhones helped in by the Border Force will eventually find that the streets here are not paved with gold for them and, with their frustrations, they will be ripe for indoctrination by Islamist extremists. The first atrocities will be next year. In the face of all that we have a PM who, if his responses to questions in the Commons are anything to go by, only gets truly animated by HS2 and Net Zero rather than the safety of his own people.

  9. Stred
    August 31, 2021

    The terrorists must be pleased to find 33 Blackhawk helicopters donated by the Democrats. Combined with thousands of US and European hostages, this will make bombing the …. out of ISIS for a second time quite difficult. The Kurds must be disappointed by the new US policy too.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    August 31, 2021

    Russia retreated from Afghanistan in defeat, we still fear Russia. One swallow does not make a Summer.

    However Russia was not governed by focus group and Twitter reaction, our leaders need to take the hard decisions not the ones they hear shouted loudest.

    It was right to pull out of Afghanistan, it is wrong to support those who want to leave. Only the Afghanis can change their country and allowing those who want change but won’t fight for it to leave (accompanied by fundamentalists within their hoards) will not improve the situation inside Afghanistan. Feels good – wrong decision.

  11. Margaret Brandreth-
    August 31, 2021

    I am not so sure about a wrong decision.The troops had to leave.The Taliban would have gone on and on to get their goal of control.It has been an obsession with them. If they cannot come up with a way of life with non threatening behaviour then the United Nations will be in a position to act.

  12. Everhopeful
    August 31, 2021

    Where is Johnson? Conspicuous by his absence.
    How many fronts is the great leader fighting on now?
    US turned on him despite all the cringing support given for a dodgy election.
    Will he crave the indulgence of the T? Masked and on one knee no doubt.
    He should tackle the teaching unions NOW and make sure he wins…unless, of course, he is complicit.
    Which would never surprise me!

    1. Everhopeful
      August 31, 2021

      Oh…and I suppose that this ritual humiliation of the US was planned?
      It is part of the NWO plan.
      A “humanitarian hub” is being set up by US and U.K. ( others?) in Kabul airport and we are deploying troops there ( are there any left?) to help evacuation.
      And this has NOT been widely trumpeted in order to keep up the humiliation of the West and allow the further celebration of the victors!
      “Levelling up” you see!

  13. Bryan Harris
    August 31, 2021

    Let’s not imagine we can rely on the Biden administration to get anything right – How much evidence do we need to have that it is not just pure incompetence and a lack of understanding that drives them. Their bumbling efforts are down to their current ideology.

    Define that ideology and you will see where they are taking the world.

    1. NickC
      September 1, 2021

      Bryan, I think you’re correct.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    August 31, 2021

    What fot the West now? The Western ‘democracies’ would appear to have already surrendered and agreed to act in unison to bring about totalitarian control and the subjugation of their people under the guise of protecting people from a ‘pandemic’.

  15. MiC
    August 31, 2021

    John’s message seems to be “you are in danger and therefore need Conservative government”.

    However, the public largely read the news and think “I may be in danger, therefore I need competent government”.

    The link in the minds of many, under Johnson, between “Conservative” and “competent” has rightly been comprehensively broken by the litany of fiasco and disaster ranging from the biblically tragic – the covid toll – to the dismally useless – the enforcement of effluent discharge limits by private sewage companies.

    And now we have empty shelves and key shortages to boot.

    The egregious failures are becoming too many to list.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      September 1, 2021

      Nothing to do with China.

    2. NickC
      September 1, 2021

      You keep repeating “empty shelves”, Martin, but I have seen none of it. Are you sure you’re not engaging in wishful thinking?

      1. Micky Taking
        September 1, 2021

        well some shelves are getting quite empty, French wine, Dutch cheese, German ham, even Belgian chocolate(things must be bad – maybe sold as fast as they can arrive?), Spanish fruit/veg.

        Reply No obvious gaps in my local, asked today and they reported few difficulties. Big demand for UK rather than Spanish veg, with some good UK produce on offer.

        1. Micky Taking
          September 1, 2021

          Try shopping in Waitrose – maybe you can see it from your Party office in Rose St, see you there on Sunday Morning as it opens – 10am?

  16. Oldtimer
    August 31, 2021

    I assume that NATO is now perceived as a weakened organisation by China, Russia, Iran and others as it must be by its own members. It’s days as a promoter and enforcer of regime change are surely numbered. Afghanistan was as clear a sign of imperial over reach as could be imagined. Biden’s precipitate withdrawal has undermined trust in the USA and will be slow to return while he remains President. NATO should return to its original role and forget about ventures beyond its original remit. That over-worked phrase, the special relationship, needs to be put on one side by UK politicians. The UK needs to look to its own interests and to cultivate ties that promote them whether with the USA or any other country.

  17. The Prangwizard
    August 31, 2021

    Tory incompetence, complacency, arrogance and niaivety has for decades got us to this disastrous position.

    Totally submissive to the US which cares nothing for us but demands and gets our support when it needs us as it has us by the throat. And the reason for that is our governments has prostituted our country.

    It’s time they learned from nations and people which understand sovereignty and true identity as they are the winners. The start in this learning process requires a removal of most of those in office – immediately.

  18. beresford
    August 31, 2021

    Why are our politicians making the ridiculous assertion that there are tangible gains from our attempt to install Western government in Afghanistan? All that has been achieved is to raise aspirations among the ordinary people which will see some of them killed and many others seeking traffickers to come here.

    1. Ed M
      August 31, 2021

      Afghanistan was hubris. Blair is like some character from a Shakesperian tragedy.

    2. Pauline Baxter
      August 31, 2021

      That is just about right Beresford.

    3. jon livesey
      August 31, 2021

      Because it’s true. Afghanistan is a vastly different place today from twenty years ago.

  19. Harvey
    August 31, 2021

    Biden presidency has only three and a half more years to go – tweedledum and tweedledee

    1. Sea_Warrior
      August 31, 2021

      I’d put a tenner on him not lasting another six months.

  20. Nota#
    August 31, 2021

    NATO’s problem is it is a one sided affair. Its all the NATO partners saying yes Mr USA we need an alliance with you. Then the kicker, you the US will provide the baulk of the sacrificial forces , you the US will provide the infrastructure to project, then the equipment to respond. The rest of us will contribute but not proportionally but as a bare minimum to suggest it is an international effort of mutual self defence.

    Or in other words outside of the US Forces all other NATO partners just don’t care, and are not interested in providing protection and security for their people.

    Sir John as you allude to the US has a West Coast that fronts the Pacific rim and to maintain their own safety and security it needs to project itself in that are, but their it doesn’t have NATO ‘Taking the Michael’

  21. Nota#
    August 31, 2021

    In all this the UK Government and its predecessors are the enemies of the UK People. In proportionate terms UK at 70 million the US at 350 million means at 20% of the size it should get to somewhere near 20% of the capability. At a guess and in relationship to boots on the ground the UK can’t even muster 5% of their capability. The US Navy’s Marine service puts more foot soldiers in the field than the entire UK Army.

    Although in essence that is not just the main problem. The real situation is for every section of the UK’s defence capability it 100% reliant on the Political Will of Foreign Governments. Why that is a UK Government Problem is that it is them and them alone that permitted they sale in recent years of the baulk of the components that are a strategic importance to the safety and security of the UK. All the fields that the UK was a major exporter in, had a major strategic advantage in have been progressively been hived of to Foreign Government Powers.

    Air power/capability all gone, Radar all gone, navy ship building and its equipment all gone. Even the Armies transport and tanks all gone- the humble Land Rover had the UK taxpayer funding its removal to Eastern Europe.

    All this and much more is why most of us ask what is the UK Government for and who does it really work for. Especially when it is unable and apparently on willing to ensure strategically the UK people are safe and secure.

  22. Nota#
    August 31, 2021

    We shouldn’t be worried about Biden, but should ask the question why has the UK Government worked against the UK People by ensuring it can no longer be safe secure. Whatever any other country does the UK’s units of defence should be in a position of being self sufficient and self reliant so as they can work independently as a cohesive units. Instead in less than a generation the UK’s defence are now controlled by the Political Will of Foreign Powers and not the UK people or its Government – that is the concern

    1. jon livesey
      August 31, 2021

      It’s called reality. Very few countries have the economic power to maintain completely independent military forces in all branches. That’s why NATO exists.

      And let’s not forget that NATO was created when Attlee and Bevin went to Washington to request the US President not to withdraw all his forces from Europe.

      In 1948 a Labour Government *asked* for US forces in Europe.

      1. Nota#
        September 1, 2021

        @jon Livesey the point being made, UK Governments shouldn’t put our valued Service Personnel in harms way unless they have the full facilities to support them. The UK doesn’t even spend or contribute proportionately to others.
        The UK Government in recent years has allowed the sell off of masses of strategic required industries so much so the UK military machine is actually controlled by the Political Will of Foreign Powers. Small example(there are many) the UK Carrier force is out projecting its self around the world using primarily French/EU technology and equipment manufacture and that’s just for the ship – in other words it is Macron that is permitting its existence of the UK Navy not the UK Government. The EU could pull the rug from under it at any time. Its a result of the could care actions of Government

  23. Nota#
    August 31, 2021

    Irony abounds – from the MSM, A Former member of the UK Forces who has been providing UK diplomates with protection is left stranded in Afghanistan while the MOD Charters a plane to get dogs and cats out!

    It would appear the UK Government prefers ‘grand standing with a virtue signal’ rather than getting serious about human life.

    1. MiC
      August 31, 2021

      The Conservatives depend upon the votes of irrational people.

      Cat and dog fanatics are irrational, and there are millions in the UK.

      So it’s logical to assume that – for a party to which maintaining power is paramount – they would seek to satisfy these people – and at any other cost, and irrespective of any moral consideration.

      1. Peter2
        August 31, 2021

        One of your more bizarre posts MiC
        Labelling without any supporting evidence claiming that most Conservative voters are irrational and cat and dog owners are also irrational.
        Hilarious.

        1. hefner
          September 1, 2021

          What is really hilarious, P2, is your Pavlov’s dog response. But keep on the good work, you are a ray of sunshine in these dark times.

          1. Peter2
            September 1, 2021

            Oh hi again heffy
            Thanks for joining in.
            And sadly exposing you don’t understand the experiment you refer to.
            Some facts or data to support MiC’s claim might be a bit more useful from you.

        2. No Longer Anonymous
          September 1, 2021

          There is NOTHING irrational about loving your dog more than most humans.

          1. MiC
            September 1, 2021

            I sometimes watch the many dog walkers on their way to the park just by here.

            About half of them stop to allow their pets to urinate on people’s food recycling containers, wheelie bins, waste bags – which the operators have to handle – as well as on people’s gateposts, fences and other private property.

            I saw one stop to allow it to do this on the greengrocer’s vegetable display outside his shop. He says, with weary acceptance, that it happens constantly.

            They all seem utterly oblivious to their disgusting behaviour – I don’t blame the dogs, but these owners seem to be utterly entranced, dominated, and stupified by their animals.

          2. Micky Taking
            September 1, 2021

            MiC – below. I seriously think you need to relocate from Cardiff.
            Try a welcoming country like NZ, China, N.Korea, Russia, even France.
            Trump might put in a good word for you in USA.

          3. MiC
            September 1, 2021

            MT, I’ve seen no evidence of what I’d call “serious thinking” in any of your posts.

        3. Micky Taking
          September 1, 2021

          obsessive, delusional, divisive, abusive…..any more descriptions?

      2. No Longer Anonymous
        August 31, 2021

        Funny that there are very many policies not undertaken to satisfaction.

    2. jon livesey
      August 31, 2021

      You are presenting a false choice. Nothing prevented Pen’s flight leaving Kabul plus any others that were ready to go. Nobody chose one flight over another. There was no either-or.

      1. Nota#
        September 1, 2021

        @jon Livesey – it wasn’t Pen being left behind but a former service man Ben Slater, a former bodyguard to ambassadors including Mark Sedwill. He has now taking to find a way-out by land

  24. X-Tory
    August 31, 2021

    “UK diplomacy could help rebuild trust between the USA and the allies” – EH?? Whyever for?? This obsession with the US and NATO is so backward looking – like those much-derided generals who always want to refight the last war. NATO was created to defend ‘the West’ from a full-on Soviet attack. That is simply NEVER going to happen so NATO is no longer relevant to us. UK policy should be designed to fit the real, modern world. It should consist of the following SIX policies:

    Firstly, we should acknowledge the truth: European countries are NOT our friends. They have proved their hatred and hostility towards by how they behaved during Brexit. It was despicable and, quite literally, UNFORGIVABLE. We no longer have any interest in helping them. Our first policy should therefore be to withdraw all our forces from Europe (such as those engaged in exercises in the Baltic states) and make it clear that we will NOT help them in any conflict that they might face. Russia is not going to attack the UK. The most they will do is promote turmoil in Eastern European countries (which makes no difference to us) and engage in cyber warfare with other European countries – ourselves included. So this leads to what should be our second policy: to greatly reinforce our cyberfighting abilities. I’m pleased to see that the government is doing this, and would encourage a greater acceleration of this.

    Our third policy should be to be able to engage independently in global strikes against international terrorist bases or rogue states (such as Iran). This should be done using drones and cruise missiles, so that no UK serviceman is put in any danger. We therefore need a MASSIVE expansion in our supply of these weapons (and they should be designed and built in the UK, of course) as well as – and this should be our fourth policy – a global satellite monitoring capability. We have a superb satellite industry, so we should use this and ensure that our spy satellite system is second to none.

    Our fifth policy should be to focus more on China, to stop them from threatening global peace and security. This is where we should cooperate bilaterally with the US, as well as other countries (not members of NATO) like Australia. We therefore need to build up our naval forces and our military bases in the Orient.

    And finally, our sixth policy should be to ensure we are completely self-sufficient in terms of nuclear defence. We should reshore ALL nuclear weapons design and build to the UK, and restore our tactical nuclear weapons. These were shamefully abandoned, even though they are by far the most useful. The likelihood of us using our ICBMs is minuscule, but if we had tactical nuclear warheds (fitted to cruise missiles) we could use these much more readily, such as against Iran. Using tactical nuclear weapons – even just the once – against a hostile country would show the world we are not to be messed with and would ensure our safety. Iran has attacked British ships, imprisoned British citizens and is developing nuclear weapons in underground sites invulnerable to normal attack. And all the while we have sat back impotently and pathetically, merely encouraging more aggression. A couple of well-targeted tactical nuclear missiles would put them back in their box, and restore our position in the middle east and indeed globally.

  25. John Miller
    August 31, 2021

    Politicians and ye olde media don’t seem to realise how much the internet has changed the world. The tragic state of Joe Biden is apparent to everyone who care to see. Sky News Australia seem particularly gleeful at the pathetic ramblings of the president.
    I don’t imagine the Democrats will be sticking up for democracy abroad unless inflation becomes rampant or the shortage of computer components from Taiwan irritates Big Tech and they call in their markers from Harris and her crew.

  26. Know-Dice
    August 31, 2021

    Trump didn’t like NATO, but was that just because he thought that many of the countries within NATO were not pulling their weight as far a funding was concerned or didn’t he just like the concept?

    It will be interesting to see how China sees the American withdrawal from Afghanistan in particular with respect to Taiwan, will they “chance their arm” there or will it just be a bit of sabre rattling to see how the USA reacts?

    Then we have South Korea (and to a certain extent Japan)… If the USA doesn’t support Taiwan then surely North Korea will make some move…

  27. Sea_Warrior
    August 31, 2021

    NATO needs to consider whether its liberal political leadership, looking through rose-tinted glasses, failed to consider the nature of the Afghan people in its higher-level ‘estimate’ (or ‘appreciation’) before launching its nation-building mission. Clearly, NATO leadership made a blunder. The Afghan people, as a whole, were never going to embrace concepts such as freedom.
    And Western governments seem to be repeating that mistake in its dealings with CCP-led China. A rational alliance, even a loose one, would be penalising China for every act of aggression, or threat of one. But what do we see? The west allows China to carry on with business as usual. (Our universities are about to airlift tens of thousands of Chinese students to come here.) Only the Australian PM seems to have much of a spine – and I can see him being out of a job at the next election. I’ll believe that America wants to defend Taiwan when it puts a brigade of marines on the island.

  28. DOM
    August 31, 2021

    Germany, the UK, Italy etc buy Putin’s gas, therefore they strengthen his grip at home and abroad. The hypocrisy and stupidity is unparalleled but that’s your average western political leader in these warped times

    I see Raab, Johnson’s great political threat, again being hung out to dry.

    When will this PM be exposed in the way he has utterly betrayed his own principles and values? Johnson was always a libertarian and defender of free speech. Look at him now. I want all to have the right to free expression irrespective of the damage and embarrassment to political parties and their politicians

    Our freedoms cannot be sacrificed to protect the main parties from exposure. Parties who care not one jot for human beings

    1. MiC
      September 1, 2021

      You are free to say whatever you like.

      However, if you libel someone – or a group – then they can bring proceedings, and if you incite a crime then you might be arrested. If you happen to reveal State secrets then that might also constitute an offence.

      So what offences do you want to be excused, and who do you want to libel, and why?

      1. Peter2
        September 1, 2021

        Well what about the right to say what you think.
        Despite it annoying people like you.

        1. MiC
          September 2, 2021

          Who is stopping you?

          It appears that you want to be able to say what you like, but to ban anyone else from challenging the nonsense that you express.

  29. agricola
    August 31, 2021

    I question your impact free choice of adjectives. Biden’s weakness was not “unfortunate”, it was an unmitigated disaster. He did not “upset” his allies, he infuriated them in extremis.
    Were I Korean, Taiwanese, or of the Baltic, I would be fearful of Biden’s support. Under threat he would be scratching his backside, looking for an atlas as the enemy poured over the borders. On present performance, live with the thought that this man has charge of americas nuclear deterent.
    The only potential plus from Biden’s appalling leadership is that it might awaken the other members of NATO to the realisation that they have a dangerous incompetent in charge and persuade them to start spending money they have failed to spend on defense for many years past.

  30. alan jutson
    August 31, 2021

    Nota

    Think you will find the dogs and cats plane was paid for privately, not by the MOD, but nevertheless I understand and agree that it took up a landing and take off spot, and required those on the ground to spend time and effort on stray cats and dogs, instead of people.

    You couldn’t make it up if you tried really. Just shows some peoples priorities ( he left his local staff behind I noticed)

  31. George Brooks.
    August 31, 2021

    This is not totally off topic but illustrates how the media ‘spin’ the news.

    Just after 7am this morning Paterson on Sky news questioned Dominic Raab in detail about those Afgans who requested flights but were left behind. On being pressed for numbers Raab said they were in the ‘low hundreds’ but the problem with them was that their claims were un-documented. It was very clear that we had done our best in the limited time available and quite rightly concentrated on getting UK passport holders and those with a documented record out of the country.

    Just after 8am Paterson introduced Wayne David a Labour shadow minister with the clear statement
    ” that hundreds of British passport holders had been left behind”.
    He and his supporting editors should be slammed for spreading totally mis-leading information.

    1. hefner
      August 31, 2021

      Neither the MoD nor the FCDO is willing to state how many British people or helpers are still to be evacuated. How do you know that Sky News is ‘spreading totally misleading information’?
      Do you have your own channel to provide us with an accurate headcount?

  32. Rhoddas
    August 31, 2021

    Afghanistan is just another example of a failed foreign policy, exposing our fundamental lack of political strategy/mission, judgement, planning and execution. Hundreds of our troops dead or maimed.
    The persistant daily arrival of boats full of illegal migrants migrants demonstrates the pervasive and symptomatic lack of abilities of this [and preceding] goverments to get control of foreign policy and our borders….
    Is there anyone in HMG going to get a grip and when?

  33. Philip P.
    August 31, 2021

    Meanwhile in the real world of international relations the Taliban are supporting the TAPI (Turkmenistan -Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project, which will boost the economies of all these countries. The Chinese are on board with it too. NATO? No, thanks.

    I guess people generally prefer to get on with business and creating prosperity.

    1. Mitchel
      August 31, 2021

      I mentioned the TAPI last week;the Pakistani FM was in Turkmenistan to discuss it at the end of last week.The problem in finally getting it underway might be the Pakistan-India section,although both would like the energy supply.

      But I agree NATO could only be a spoiler.

  34. Cliff. Wokingham
    August 31, 2021

    Sir John,
    I was alarmed to read on The Conservative Woman website this morning about the military kit The American forces left behind in Kabul.
    This has effectively been a gift for the Taliban and if true, is an absolute disgrace.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      August 31, 2021

      It’s true Cliff. GB News has shown all the helicopters and the Taliban in American uniforms.

  35. NickC
    August 31, 2021

    Gary, If we’re irrelevant, as you claim, what does it matter if we’re weak? And better to be weak and independent than an irrelevant province of your EU empire. Moreover about 6 million Europeans have chosen to “be with us” a majority being east Europeans, many more than in 1940. Try again.

    1. Mitchel
      August 31, 2021

      Agreed but we host a large,well paid cadre of people that still believe they should rule the world and,though largely impotent, posture and lecture,at considerable expense -and at every opportunity -in order to justify themselves.These turkeys are not going to vote themselves out of existence nor can they,apparently,be voted out.

    2. MiC
      August 31, 2021

      Six million have applied for, or had applications made for them – e.g. children and dependants – for the right to continue their free movement with the UK.

      NOTHING like that number will be resident here at any one time, just as many British alternate between Spain, Portugal etc. and the UK.

      1. Micky Taking
        September 1, 2021

        evidence?

      2. NickC
        September 1, 2021

        Martin, How do you know the numbers will be “NOTHING like” 6 million resident here? In any case you miss the point (as usual) that many more east Europeans are here than were here in 1940.

    3. jon livesey
      August 31, 2021

      Spot on. The Remainer position is that everything is about Brexit and it’s all wrong, even if one whine contradicts another.

  36. Iain Gill
    August 31, 2021

    John,

    What do you think about the blood tube crisis?

    Lots of implications, delayed diagnosis, etc. More access problems in autumn because those who can’t have tests will have to come back later. Added on top of the current situation of lack of access to medical care….

    Why do we not have multiple suppliers, and more resilient supply? Who in the NHS is actually going to suffer for this mess up (clue nobody)…

    ?

  37. Ed M
    August 31, 2021

    The great weakness, weaklings, were Bush and Blair starting for starting the stupid war.
    Real men fight proper wars. Weaklings like Bush and Blair start stupid wars.

    I am no fan of Biden or the Democrats. But it was never going to be pretty for anyone withdrawing the troops from Afghan.

    1. MiC
      August 31, 2021

      France had all their people and materiel out by May.

      1. Micky Taking
        September 1, 2021

        not people to fight and protect to the last….

        1. MiC
          September 1, 2021

          What fighting were the US and UK doing after May?

          1. Micky Taking
            September 1, 2021

            not necessarily ‘literally’ fighting. But trying to ensure the reasons for military occupation in the first place.

          2. MiC
            September 1, 2021

            Like, “not” fighting, then.

            😂😂😂

      2. hefner
        September 1, 2021

        MiC, not quite, an awful lot was still happening mid-July (Figaro, 13/07, Journal du Dimanche, 19/07). But the French analyses of the situation on the Afghan ground appears to have been rather different from the US-UK one.
        Maybe J-Y Le Drian and F. Parly are better at reading such analyses than D. Raab and B. Wallace are?

        1. MiC
          September 1, 2021

          Châpeau!

  38. ChrisS
    August 31, 2021

    As if Obama didn’t do enough damage to US credibility by failing to follow through his red lines on Syria, Biden has made thing far worse. His administration now has none whatsoever.

    The European Union members cannot rely on us and the French to defend them. They need to do a great deal more to defend themselves. Nothing, I fear will now stop the expansion of China. Xi has a clear run on Taiwan from Biden, even though there are thousands of US troops and sailors on the island.

  39. turboterrier
    August 31, 2021

    With all these fast becoming global problems falling upon the UK and others, it highlights quite clearly there is a dearth of real leaders with the abilities that are expected from their position and the office they hold.

  40. Pauline Baxter
    August 31, 2021

    Never mind Biden and NATO Sir John.
    I suggest you get your teeth into the United Nations Agenda 21.
    Behind the flowery language it is quite clearly designed to impose world wide totalitarian control.
    You have said you do not ‘do’ conspiracy theories but that one is so glaringly obvious it is almost overt.
    Surely YOU do not support the plan?
    I’m in two minds about your party leader.

  41. mancunius
    August 31, 2021

    There was never very much to Joe Biden – and now very little is left of his crumbling mental powers. Yesterday – to the relatives of the US servicemen and -women killed at Kabul Airport – he again (for the second time this week, and the fourth or fifth time since taking office) inappropriately used a military honours ceremony to declare his personal grief at the death of his son, a lawyer-politician who served for a few months as a National Guardsman in the the Baghdad Green Zone, returned home, and later died of an unrelated cancer.
    The relatives of the dead to whom he made those remarks expressed their puzzled shock at his lack of empathy.
    Biden’s thoughts increasingly circle narrowly around himself, his family circle, and the State of Delaware.
    I would not trust him in a room in which any foreign policy matter is discussed.

  42. glen cullen
    August 31, 2021

    I’ve lost faith in NATO and the UN as institutions for peace, the common good or as a frameork for negotiation; they have become bureaucratic, blotted, bribery, cronyism and woke ridden
    We shouldn’t just reassess why we’re members or how these institutions could change – we should leave them

    1. DavidJ
      September 1, 2021

      +10

  43. Will in Hampshire
    August 31, 2021

    Now would seem like a good moment for people to remind themselves that the first two letters in NATO stand for North Atlantic. Our defence investments should have as their primary aim the continuation of the Alliance’s ability to keep others out of the North Sea and the North Atlantic, whether under the surface, above the surface or in the air.

    With respect to the Alliance itself, I sense a disagreement between Germany, France and Italy on the one hand and the United States, Poland and the Baltic states on the other. The former group seeks a rapprochement with Russia. They know that China could easily become a big problem for Moscow, and suspect that Mr Putin knows that eventually Peking will insist upon him doing some kowtowing. They reckon – reasonably enough – that a pro-European pivot on the part of the Kremlin might seem like an attractive alternative (hence Nord Stream 2 and Germany’s lack of urgency about defence spending). The latter group regards this possibility with horror.

    1. hefner
      September 1, 2021

      WiH, Original view, thanks.

    2. Mitchel
      September 1, 2021

      China needs Russia-certainly as long as the USA remains a great power.Russia is now largely self-sufficient in most areas,re-industrialising,with cutting edge military technology and has very low sovereign debt and huge international reserves(they hit another record last month).It is Russia that will build a counterbalance to(but not against) China by drawing in Germany and Japan in due course.The French and Germans are both too weak,debilitated by decades of subordination to Washington,to provide a counter.

      History shows that the Germans have generally been the servants of Russia rather than the other way round,particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  44. DOM
    August 31, 2021

    If you believe that this was a decision taken solely by Biden then you need to seek urgent psychiatric intervention.

    A politician who could barely truffle up 2% in the Democrat primaries will, this time next year, be the next POTUS. I find this intolerable and utterly terrifying in a mature democracy. I don’t like her views, her history and her weaponised sense of victimhood. She wreaks of revenge and that isn’t healthy

    1. NickC
      September 1, 2021

      I asked a group of friends and relatives what percentage they’d give for Joe Biden still being in office in 6 months time. To my surprise everyone who expressed an opinion gave 100% as the figure, except myself – I suggested 60%.

  45. forthurst
    August 31, 2021

    No sooner have we left Afghanistan with the Taliban having taken over Kabul, but there are suggestions of further interventions against ISIS-(K) with drones. Having been kicked out of Afghanistan we should not proceed to attack it from the air like Syria on various pretexts. Furthermore, drone strikes have a tendency to kill innocent parties and destroy buildings which simply ramps up hatred of the West and the desire fro revenge.

    The withdrawal from Afghanistan was not well handled by Biden or the FCO but it is too late to rectify the errors of both. Poor leadership leads to sins of omission.

    1. NickC
      September 1, 2021

      What’s even worse, Forthurst, is that while the Taliban presently set about murdering Afghans who helped us, and their own women, we will be giving them money. Presumably to buy spares for their newly acquired American military weapons.

  46. alan jutson
    August 31, 2021

    Nato and the western World should learn that they should keep out of wars abroad, you cannot expect to influence regime change in Countries with a history of tribal/religious factions, and change them into a Democracy with the help of a gun, in a couple of decades let alone a few years.

    The more developed Countries of the World took Centuries to gain some sort of democracy, and at the moment they are now starting to show signs of failure.

  47. Micky Taking
    August 31, 2021

    Better late than never. Off TOPIC.
    A quiet revolution has been going on in town halls across England and Wales, as voters turn their back on the big Westminster parties in favour of local, independent candidates and residents’ groups. What’s behind the surge in support for them? Catherine Sayer never expected to run her local council.
    A successful thriller writer with a background in media, local politics was the last thing on her mind.
    But in 2008, talk spread through her Surrey town about plans to build thousands more homes.
    Fearful for their green belt, members of the local community teamed up to form the Oxted and Limpsfield Residents’ Group, and Catherine’s decision to join set her on a whole new path.
    “I think it started for us with concerns about over development, and I think that’s true of many places in the South East,” she said. “Then it just spiralled.”
    The Conservatives and Labour are being elbowed aside in places like Oxted.
    Catherine is part of a growing movement – local citizens passionate about their area, who get together to challenge the big Westminster parties at the ballot box.

    1. Paul Cuthbertson
      September 1, 2021

      MT – The people are finally waking up but if they turned off or destroyed their TVs it would happen quicker.

    2. Nota#
      September 1, 2021

      @Micky Taking – good democracy is when individuals get the ‘calling’ to serve the people, their community and the Country. Bad democracy is when a candidate puts party first and foremost and slavishly follows the ego of an individual while totally neglect those they serve.

      Needed to happen (but wont) central government should allow all the centralist control filter down to those that will do the job and actually know what is needed.

  48. jon livesey
    August 31, 2021

    If you want something to really worry about, current reports are alleging that the US is withdrawing air defence systems from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. The systems being withdrawn include Patriot anti-missile Patriot systems, fighter aircraft and personnel. No news, as far as I know, on where they are being sent.

    We’ve all been far too focussed on Kabul, and we have treated Biden’s performance as some personal lack of concern for human life – which is *extremely* strange, given how the MSM media hailed him as the compassionate man so recently – and we have concentrated on Kabul because the White House has managed it as a news “package” and has performed the little “wounded duck” dance so well.

    I think that there is something much bigger going on in US foreign policy right now, and if Biden treats Kabul rather casually, it is because Kabul is just one of the issues he is currently managing.

    At the end of the day, the US treats the Atlantic Alliance as the one irreplaceable part of US policy, and everything else is up for negotiation.

    1. Mitchel
      September 1, 2021

      The Patriots were not much use when that missile attack was launched on the Saudi oil installations a couple of years ago,allegedly by Iranian proxies

  49. bigneil - newer comp
    August 31, 2021

    34 comments for NATO – – versus ????? against the govt approved invasion and population replacement program. Says it all.

    1. DavidJ
      September 1, 2021

      +1

  50. DavidJ
    September 1, 2021

    No point in wishing for Biden to change. He is absolutely useless. I wonder if those who voted for him now realise their mistake. Even those who (allegedly) manipulated the vote to get him elected must be wondering…

  51. Satan
    September 1, 2021

    We need a World Government immediately

    1. Peter2
      September 1, 2021

      Who elects them?

      1. glen cullen
        September 1, 2021

        A panel from the UN in a secret meeting

        1. Peter2
          September 1, 2021

          Correct.

  52. rose
    September 1, 2021

    I was disgusted by the performance of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs today, under its weak and overambitious chairman. They had the Foreign Secretary for a long session and yet they threw away the opportunity to discuss foreign affairs with him, such as you are doing here. Instead they bullied and browbeat him, carped and cavilled, displaying all their worst characteristics. There were no questions on Turkey, our strongest NATO ally now Biden is blighting the scene, and one of the 3 countries which secured Kabul airport; nothing on our extra NATO allies like Japan and India; nothing on China, Russia, or Iran; nothing serious on foreign aid. They were shameful and pathetic, and didn’t deserve to have him there when he is so very busy and concerned with the terrifying ramifications of Biden’s folly.

  53. Martin
    September 2, 2021

    Successive American Presidents have been pulling back from global leadership. As Mrs May pointed out, it was President Trump that did the deal with the Taliban.

    I think it is an awful tactical blunder. Better to fight these terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan than on the streets of New York. (Napoleon Bonaparte or Clausewitz probably said something clever about picking the right battlefield.)

  54. hefner
    September 2, 2021

    As head of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (the Conservative) Tom Tugendhat did a reasonably good job. It was a shame that Dominic Raab refused to answer any of the questions that could embarrass him and preferred serving two hours of platitudes (it was not a particularly long session, rose, Dom Cummings was in front of his SCs for about six hours on 26/05/2021).

    And why should DR have talked about Turkey, Japan, India, China, Russia or Iran. He is the UK Foreign Secretary, not even in charge of the NATO effort in Afghanistan. He was being asked about what he knew, when and how, and what he did or did not do in response to that information.

    You look a bit too protective of our dear Dominic, are you by any chance his mother?

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