In May, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced plans to accelerate the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, launched earlier this year, saying it was “only right” because those being relocated might “be at risk of reprisals” from the Taliban following the decisions by US and NATO forces to leave the country.
As the Taliban* continues its onslaught against the Kabul government in the wake of the ongoing US and NATO retreat from the country, the plight of those who served with UK troops is triggering growing concern.
Over 40 military commanders penned an open letter in The Times, addressed to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling on the government to speed up the relocation of interpreters and locals who did other jobs, such as driving and cooking, at British bases in Helmand province in Afghanistan.
They claim that the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) – a government scheme to bring Afghan workers to Britain, launched earlier this year – is failing to serve its purpose, with hundreds denied sanctuary in the UK.
Signed by four former chiefs of the defence staff, Lord Boyce, Lord Stirrup, Lord Richards and Lord Houghton; two former heads of the British Army, Lord Wall and Lord Dannatt; Lord Ricketts, the former national security advisor, and former Defence Minister Johnny Mercer, who served as a soldier in Helmand, the missive warns the Prime Minister that Britain faces “dishonour” if those who served with UK troops are left to face possible…