A FORMER Tory defence minister and Afghanistan veteran has said it is “deeply humiliating” to watch events unfolding in Afghanistan, where Taliban insurgents have now taken more than two thirds of the country.

With US officials warning that the capital Kabul, could fall within weeks, Johnny Mercer said President Joe Biden had “made a huge mistake”, adding: “But also we have a role.”

He told BBC Breakfast: “This idea we cannot act unilaterally and support the Afghan security forces is simply not true.

“The political will to see through enduring support to Afghanistan has not been there and a lot of people are going to die because of that, and for me that is extremely humiliating.

“It's a world tragedy and we are going to reap the repercussions of this over many years to come.”

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Former international development secretary Rory Stewart said “we are going to end up with terrorists” as a result of the Taliban regaining its grip over Afghanistan.

He told Sky News: “This is a horrifying group associated with terrorists, they have been backing suicide bombing in the areas they control, women are not going to school and it is a total betrayal by the United States and the United Kingdom.”

Stewart said Britain and the US would have to “expect to take a lot of refugees” following major population displacement in the country, because “this is our fault”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace voiced fears that al-Quaeda could return to Afghanistan, but he blamed the latest turmoil there on former US president Donald Trump.

The gains made by the Taliban’s lightning advance come just weeks before allied forces are due to withdraw.

They have taken the country's second and third largest cities, Kandahar and Herat, as part of their week-long blitz and today officials said they had captured Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern Helmand province.

Wallace denied the plan to send 600 troops in to Afghanistan, announced on Thursday, was a last-minute decision, arguing that it was put in place “some months ago” in preparation for withdrawal alongside the US by September 11.

The short-term deployment comes as the US vowed to send 3000 of its troops to Afghanistan. It will be used to support diplomacy, help citizens leave the country and support the relocation of former Afghan staff as the Taliban continues to make in-roads.

Wallace refused to rule out further ground attacks or air strikes if the situation worsens, and admitted he is concerned that multinational terror network al-Qaeda, the group behind atrocities such as the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, could “come back” as Afghanistan de-stabilises again.

He told Sky News: “Of course I am worried, it is why I said I felt this was not the right time or decision to make because, of course, al-Qaeda will probably come back, certainly would like that type of breeding ground.

“That is what we see – failed states around the world lead to instability, lead to a security threat to us and our interests.”

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Wallace said he thinks the deal signed between then-White House incumbent Trump and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in February 2020 to withdraw from Afghanistan was a “mistake” – but argued the UK had no choice but to follow.

Since the deal was signed, Biden – Trump's successor – has continued with the withdrawal timetable.

Wallace said: “I was public about it that at the time of the Trump deal – with obviously the Taliban – I felt that that was a mistake to have done it that way, that we will all, as an international community, pay the consequences of that.

“But when the United States, as the framework nation, took that decision, the way we were all configured, the way we had gone in meant that we had to leave as well.”