British veteran and Member of Parliament Tom Tugendhat harshly criticized President Joe Biden on Wednesday over his recent comments about Afghanistan.
Tugendhat, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, referenced the Biden administration’s repeated assertions that the Afghan security forces were entirely to blame for the Taliban’s rapid climb back to power, arguing that such a narrative was “shameful.” (RELATED: ‘This Is That Day Where We Say We Lost The War’: Marine Veteran Sounds Off On Afghanistan Withdrawal)
An extraordinary and moving speech from veteran MP Tom Tugendhat, with very harsh words for President Biden on Afghanistan
“To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, is shameful.” pic.twitter.com/ZgEEHwD9MI
— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) August 18, 2021
“I’ve watched good men go into the earth, taking with them a part of me, and a part of all of us,” Tugendhat began, adding that the events of the past week had torn those old wounds open again.
Tugendhat went on to note that because the mission in Afghanistan was a NATO mission, it connected Britain to a number of allies both in Europe and elsewhere.
“And so it is with great sadness that I now criticize one of them, because I was never prouder than when I was decorated by the 82nd Airborne,” Tugendhat continued. “It was a huge privilege, a huge privilege to be recognized by such an extraordinary unit in combat. To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, to claim that they ran, is shameful.”
“Those who have never fought for the colors they fly should be careful of criticizing those who have,” Tugendhat added, prompting a chorus of, “hear, hear” from the chamber.
He went on to address the problems inherent in being dependent on a single ally, an apparent warning against a future situation in which one member’s decision — like Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan — left the others unable to hold the line.
“So let’s stop talking about forever wars,” Tugendhat concluded. “Let’s recognize that forever peace is bought, not cheaply, but hard, through determination and the will to endure. And that the tragedy of Afghanistan is that we’re swapping that patient achievement for a second fire and a second war.”