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Theo Farrell’s Unwinnable shows Britain never had a chance in Afghanistan

And the public is even less informed than they were in 2001

By Ahmed Rashid   February 2018

Success in Afghanistan was short-lived. Photo: Getty

The first British troops scheduled to fly into Bagram airbase outside Kabul in November 2001 nearly didn’t make it. Northern Alliance (NA) leaders, who had driven the Taliban out of the city with the help of US Special Forces a few days earlier, refused to allow the British plane to land. Their leader, Abdullah Abdullah, was furious that London was sending troops without asking permission first. He telephoned the head of the UN mission to Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, and informed him with…

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