Breaking the Brotherhood

Will the special relationship be another causality of the Afghan war?

Joe Biden’s decision to hastily withdraw from Afghanistan has created the biggest divide between the United States and the United Kingdom in decades.

The British government was so opposed to the pullout that it tried to piece together a coalition to replace American troops before they left. But with the U.S. evacuating so suddenly and Britain failing to get enough support from other countries and unwilling to remain in Afghanistan alone, British troops were also forced to hastily fall back. The Taliban swept across Afghanistan, into Kabul, and up to the airport gates.

An emergency debate in the House of Commons devoted hours to condemning the U.S. “The American decision to withdraw was not just a mistake—it was an avoidable mistake, from President [Donald] Trump’s flawed deal with the Taliban to President [Joe] Biden’s decision to proceed, and to proceed in such a disastrous way,” said Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote on August 21, “We didn’t need [to retreat]. We chose to do it. We did it in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars’ ….” Whom does Mr. Blair regard as an imbecile? Slogans about “forever wars” were a significant feature of the election campaign of Joe Biden.

Almost immediately after Kabul fell on August 15, Prime Minister Boris Johnson telephoned the White House. Biden didn’t pick up. British officials struggled for 36 hours to finally get him on the phone to coordinate a response.

As this crisis went from bad to worse to even worse, Britain made an obvious and reasonable request: Extend the deadline for withdrawal beyond the August 31 deadline decreed by the Taliban. The fact was clear that not everyone would be evacuated by the end of the month: Afghans who helped British forces and even British citizens would be stranded, effectively hostages—or victims—of the Taliban. Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said, “The painful reality is that there will be many people—Britons and the Afghans who supported us over two decades—who simply aren’t going to get out. This is a really dark moment ….”

Another way to put it is: This chaotic, avoidable, inexplicable betrayal is splitting Britain and America. And this split will change British foreign policy.

The most memorable speech from Parliament’s condemnation of Mr. Biden came from Conservative M.P. and Afghan war veteran Tom Tugendhat. “Like many veterans, this last week has been one that has seen me struggle through anger and grief and rage,” he said, “the feeling [of] abandonment of not just a country, but the sacrifice that my friends made.”

But Tugendhat was not just helplessly bemoaning America. He plotted a new course for Britain, saying: “We can set out a vision, clearly articulated, for reinvigorating our European nato partners, to make sure that we are not dependent on a single ally, on the decision of a single leader, but that we can work together—with Japan and Australia, with France and Germany, with partners large and small—and make sure that we hold the line together.”

There it is—a flat statement of what many are thinking: Britain cannot depend on America and should turn more to allies like France and Germany.

This is not official government policy, yet. But after the fall of Kabul, Britain found itself much closer to France and Germany than to the U.S. These three countries in particular worked together, often in opposition to the U.S., trying to pick up the pieces.

This pivot to Europe is exactly the response the Bible said Britain would take in reaction to a falling America.

Hosea 5:13 warns, “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” Ephraim in Bible prophecy refers to Britain (find proof in our free book The United States and Britain and Prophecy).

“Hosea prophesies that wounded Judah and sick Ephraim will go to Germany for help,” writes Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in his booklet Hosea: Reaping the Whirlwind. “Why? Because America is even sicker than both of them and can be of no help at that point!”

The entire 20-year war in Afghanistan, and most of all its defeat and catastrophic retreat, is compelling proof that America is sick. It may recover, temporarily, under strong leadership from Donald Trump in the future. But the spirit of Hosea 5:13 is clearly visible in Britain already: We cannot rely on the Americans. We must turn to Europe.

This divide is a serious problem for both nations. In the July 2021 Trumpet, Mr. Flurry wrote: “Britain and America have done great things by working together. Winston Churchill dedicated much of his life to building a special relationship between America and Britain. They fought together in World War i and won the war. The same occurred in World War ii. Had Britain been left to itself, it could not have won! When these nations are divided, both are less secure. … The division developing between our nations is a deadly weakness.”

Mr. Flurry then explained a prophecy of a time when men would work to blot out the name of Israel—referring to Britain and America, the modern nations of Israel.

“People are creating and aggravating divisions within America and Britain—regarding race, class, politics and anything else they can think of,” he continued. “Now they are sowing divisions between these two nations. Splitting Britain and America apart from one another means that they cannot help each other.”

The Afghan fiasco exposes how divided these two powers already are. And it is yet another proof that you can trust Bible prophecy.