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Former British commanders warn: Taliban has won and Afghanistan is on the verge of collapse

A former British military commander said the Taliban had won the battle against the West in Afghanistan, as US and British forces continued their withdrawal on Sunday.

Writing in the Telegraph, General Lord Dannatt, former head of the British army, said the mission was to give the Afghan people the choice of a more moderate and peaceful life. In the end, the strength of the female students prevailed, the people of Afghanistan were deprived of the opportunity to choose a better way of life, and to make matters even more tragic, a slide into the chaos of civil war became all the more likely.

The Telegraph says that during the 20-year conflict, 454 British soldiers were killed while serving in Afghanistan, and the Talib forces are now making significant gains in rural areas and declaring victory over NATO and its allies.

Lord Dannatt called for a check into the Chilcot Inquiry's desertion of the campaign, after the Telegraph revealed that the union flag had been lowered in Kabul, ending 20 years of British presence in the country.

For its part, the Times said that with the end of British military operations in Afghanistan, former British commanders warned that the country faced an enormous risk of collapse.

General Sir Richard Parson, former commander of the Joint Forces Command, said that two decades after British forces went to Afghanistan, there were fears of a mass exodus of people because of the gains made by the Taliban.

Hundreds of British soldiers were repatriated this week, and units held flag-lowering ceremonies to mark the end of their engagements, while other NATO nations prepare for a final celebration.