The ministers “blinded themselves” by ignoring a warning eight months ago about the implications of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, it claimed.
A report submitted to the government in January laid out how the U.S. threatened to oust the Afghan government and allow the country to descended into the civil war.
But the conservative caretaker of the Select Committee on International Relations and Defense in the House of Lords told Sky News that he was left “extremely disappointed” by the way the government failed to listen to concerns raised in “UK in Afghanistan” report, published in January.
The committee interviewed dozens of experts, including former ambassadors, ministers and former chief of defense staff, as part of its inquiry.
It found that the UK had “shown little inclination to pursue an independent voice in policy in Afghanistan” and “instead followed US leadership and became too temperate in raising its unique voice”.
“The continued presence of UK troops in Afghanistan will depend on US deployment decisions,” the committee report said.
“We are disappointed in the lack of analysis of the implications of the US withdrawal plan from Afghanistan provided by the ministers in their evidence.
“We ask the government to give us its assessment of U.S. policy.”
But according to Baroness Anelay, a former government minister who heads the committee, when the government released its response in March, the Foreign Office failed to grant the request.
“I am very disappointed with the response the government has given to that report,” the Tory counterpart told Sky News.
“We asked them to give us an analysis of U.S. withdrawal policy because we were concerned about its lack of evidence from ministers.
“All they did was acknowledge our concern, they didn’t provide any further analysis.
“Their response seemed to assume that the Resolute Support Mission could continue to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.
“It seems to be accepted everything will be fine, that we can cope. There is no recognition of any of that answer to the fact that the number of troops can fluctuate drastically.
“They seem to have blinded themselves because they didn’t do the review we asked for.”
Lord Alton, a cross-bench member of the committee, said recent events had shown the report was “too presentable” and “excused” the government.
He said the ministers ’response to the committee’s report was“ inadequate ”, adding:“ Don’t let anyone suggest that no one saw or predicted the consequences.
“The government has neglected to give time to the House for an important and critical report that is controversial.”
Shadow Labor foreign secretary Lisa Nandy told Sky News: “The government knows that U.S. troops have been pulling for 18 months.
“Ministers have been repeatedly warned about the consequences of a failure to prepare, but rather at this time to plan that they are sleeping at the wheel.
“They ignored warning after warning. It was a pattern of negligence and an unforgivable failure of leadership.”
The Lords committee advised the U.S. and other western forces to wait for the Taliban and Afghan governments to reach a peace agreement, in talks in Doha that took place last year, before pulling out.
Leaving the country before an agreement has been reached would harm one’s chances of securing and “further jeopardize the security situation,” the committee said.
“We are concerned that the U.S. agreement with the Taliban runs the risk of damaging the Afghan government in the talks,” they added.
The UK should make it clear to the Americans that “ongoing US military and diplomatic engagement is essential to achieving a successfully reached agreement and that further US and NATO troop withdrawals must be paused. , “continued the committee report.
The written response from the Foreign Office to the 128-page report suggested new U.S. President Joe Biden was more likely to consult with NATO than his predecessor Donald Trump.
Criticisms from Baroness Anelay could serve further pressure on Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who facing calls to stop what had been a vacation in Crete when Kabul fell.
But a peer told Sky News that Mr Raab simply could not be held accountable.
“When making decisions like what happens if everything goes to the stomach, that’s not purely departmental – generally you’re talking about the cabinet’s national security committee – so it’s not just Dominic Raab who will decide of this nature, it is a fair and equitable issue among the cabinet at this level, ”he said.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The government appreciates the breadth of the select committee’s report. The IRDC expressed their gratitude for the quality and detail of the government’s response.
“We have been working with partners for many months to prepare for our departure from Afghanistan, and are now implementing our plans that can help to help UK nationals and those who support UK work in Afghanistan for at least 20 years to leave the country. “