Has the UK learned lessons from the withdrawal from Afghanistan? MPs to quiz Minister
On Tuesday 17 October the Foreign Affairs Committee hears from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Middle East for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) on the Government’s response to the withdrawal from Afghanistan, one year on from the Committee’s Afghanistan report.
The session will be informed by written evidence submitted to the Committee, following a call for evidence published in September 2023.
The Foreign Affairs Committee published its report on the withdrawal, ‘Missing in action: UK leadership and the withdrawal from Afghanistan’ in May 2022. The report highlighted systemic failures in the Government’s intelligence, diplomacy and planning.
In its response, the Government said it was determined to raise standards in its response to future crises. In February, the Permanent Under-Secretary told the Committee in a letter that lessons learned from the evacuation were incorporated into its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
MPs may ask witnesses in the first panel for their assessment of the Government’s handling of its Afghanistan resettlement schemes, and how the UK should approach engaging with the country and its leadership in future.
In the second panel, MPs are likely to ask Lord Ahmad whether lessons learned from the withdrawal of Afghanistan have been applied in subsequent crisis situations, such as the outbreak of conflict in Sudan, and more recently in Israel and Palestine. They may also ask about aid commitments to Afghanistan, and the implementation of the resettlement schemes.