UK Struggles For Influence As Afghan Crisis Strains US Ties

In this photo issued by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD), showing members of UK Armed Forces who are working to evacuate entitled personnel from Afghanistan's Kabul airport, Monday Aug. 23, 2021. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said the Kabul evacuation effort is "down to hours now, not weeks" as he conceded Britain's involvement will end when the US leaves Afghanistan. (LPhot Ben Shread/MoD via AP)

(AP) — The messy exit of Western military forces from Afghanistan and the swift takeover of the country by the Taliban has stunned officials in Britain and strained the U.K.’s “special relationship” with its most important ally, the United States. Britain is urging the United States to extend its evacuation effort in Kabul past the Aug. 31 deadline.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to press President Joe Biden for an extension at an emergency summit of Group of Seven leaders on Tuesday. Biden has left open the possibility. But the Taliban call the date a “red line.” British say the international airlift won’t be able to continue once U.S. troops depart.


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