Afghan veteran Dan Jarvis say ex-soldiers are ‘heartbroken’ following Taliban takeover

British soldiers who served in Afghanistan are feeling “heartbroken” at the Taliban takeover of the country, army veteran and mayor of Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis said.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 6:45 pm

The ex-Paratrooper, who served two tours of Afghanistan and now represents Barnsley Central in Parliament, said families who lost loved ones especially will be questioning whether their sacrifice was worth it.

Mr Jarvis said: “This is churning up a lot of emotions for a lot of people who made a lot of sacrifices.

“It’s hit a lot of us very hard.

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Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis MP

“I have spoken to a lot of veterans, who are angry, frustrated, heartbroken about the situation in Afghanistan.

“We invested so much into that country, we all lost good friends who we served alongside and we are left wondering whether it was worth it, and it doesn’t feel like it was.

“That’s particularly hard to bear for families of British servicemen and women who lost their lives.

“We are trying to cope with the fact that time, blood, toil, sweat and tears we personally have put into that country, was not worth it, the sacrifice that was made.

“That’s a really hard thing to come to terms with and a lot of people are struggling to come to terms with it.

“There’s a lot of people feeling really bad about how things have turned out.”

Mr Jarvis joined growing calls for Parliament to be recalled and for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make a statement after what he described as “an absence of meaningful activity from the UK government” over the situation.

He added: “It’s a source of great shame to many of us that the Taliban are now in the ascendancy.

“This is what political failure looks like. There’s been a complete failure of political leadership.”

Mr Jarvis, who rose the rank of major in the army before his political career, said there was “deep naivety” in believing the Afghan army and security forces could “hold the line” without the help of the West.

And he said it is in our own national interest to help the Afghans, otherwise the country will descend into a lawless state providing a safe harbour for terrorists.

He said significant troop redeployment was not an option, but suggested the US could extend air support to Afghan forces, which is due to cease at the end of the month – and the UK, Nato and others should also be using diplomatic levers and talking to regional partners.