Yet again British soldiers have shown the world that no matter the crisis, no matter the adversity and regardless of the life threatening dangers, their bravery as well as never-ending courage will persevere.
It might have been decades since an evacuation of this extent was carried out during World War II, but the British troops executing Operation Pitting in Afghanistan demonstrated the fearless British determination that the world has relied on for centuries in vulnerable times.
Today the Commonwealth stands proud of the resilience of the British Troops over the last few weeks as not only have they saved over 15,000 lives, but at a time when many in the Western World have become concerned about having a proverbial shoulder to rely on in times of crisis given the attitude of other powers in this crisis, the British soldiers have restored our hope.
Sir Winston Churchill once told the House of Commons “we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
Decades later, the empire may have transformed into the Commonwealth of nations, but as we have seen, not only in the last two weeks, but over the last twenty years in Afghanistan, British troops have stood strong to fight tyranny,fight for freedom and most importantly protect the lives of the vulnerable.
Twenty years ago the first British troops landed in Afghanistan with the Americans and others to fight terror. Despite what President Biden says that this mission wasn’t about nation building, it actually became the central aim.
After defeating the Taliban, British troops stayed with the Americans not only to provide military support against the remnants of the Taliban but helped to build communities, helped to train protective forces, helped to build schools and spread humanity.
Regardless of the shocking end to the west’s campaign due to failures of other powers, British troops were simply dynamic and brave in their undertakings of the last 20 years.
Over 450 British troops paid the ultimate sacrifice while thousands more gave up some aspect of their remaining lives due to the impacts of this war. Whatever the future of Afghanistan, it must be said that British troops gave twenty years of dedication which gave the Afghan people twenty years of hope.
The British spirit is one of “never give up” as Churchill rightly told the world, and to the very end, the British troops stood with the Afghan people, saving thousands this week and thousands more in the last twenty years.
The Commonwealth finds great comfort and offers our massive gratitude as well as love, because over the decades, post World War II, we have seen the British Navy and other Military personnel sacrifice themselves to protect our Commonwealth in times of natural disasters, in the Pandemic and other conflicts.
The Commonwealth is always grateful for the support of Britain and her military which has demonstrated unwavering love towards us in past years.