British MPs bemoan ‘catastrophic miscalculation’ of Afghanistan as post-mortem begins


Foreign minister calls U.S. relationship ‘indispensable’ — but many in the U.K. have growing doubts. To hear the British foreign minister tell it, the biggest mistake made by some in his government — and many others across Europe — in the lead-up to the fall of Afghanistan was “optimism bias.” Essentially, having too much hope that U.S. President Joe Biden would change his mind and keep American troops in Afghanistan longer than the Aug. 31 deadline, so as to avoid the catastrophic humanitarian crisis many fear has started. “There was some wishful thinking in some quarters internationally that the Biden administration would change.… But the election campaign had baked in some finality to this,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told British MPs Wednesday during a grilling before the House of Commons foreign affairs committee.

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