THE mother of Cwmbran soldier James Prosser has criticised the way in which British and American troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan.

Sarah Adams, whose son was just 21 when he was killed in Helmand Province in September 2009, said the situation the country is being left in is “abhorrent.”

Taliban troops reached the gates of Kabul on Sunday, and took the capital with little resistance. Since then, Afghan allies to the UK and US have gathered at Kabul Airport to try and flee the country, but – as of the time of writing – all flights have been grounded.

“It’s heart-breaking. It’s devastating for the country of Afghanistan,” said Ms Adams.


“I have been watching it unfold for the last few months. I am not surprised that we are in this situation, but what I am surprised at is the speed of it happening.

“We totally underestimated the Taliban. It’s an embarrassment to us all. We have learned nothing about them over the past 20 years.

“It’s abhorrent that we are going to leave Afghanistan like this.

“20 years of lives being lost and being changed forever, of Afghans losing their homes, billions of pounds, all for what? You need to see it through to the end.

“In a matter of days all the good that we have done has gone.

“I don’t think it is right to just walk away from this. We have put these people in this situation. For anyone who helped the NATO troops, there is sure to be retribution.”

Private Prosser was killed on September 27, 2009, while serving with the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh.

He was just 21 when he was killed by an explosion while driving a Warrior vehicle in the Musa Qaleh district of Helmand Province.

“I have tried over the 12 years to not be constantly angry,” said Ms Adams. “Sad, yes – I’ll always be sad for James. But now I am angry.

“I just hope that everybody remembers the losses and the life-changing injuries, and that war is not the answer.

“For me and so many others, the war is not over. It will never be. So many have to live with the losses, the injuries, and the hauntings.

“The war was not right and we have made things worse. We need to hold our hands up.”

MPs have been recalled from their summer recess to discuss the issue on Wednesday.

Ms Adams said that a new approach was needed in approaching Afghanistan.

“I don’t understand why [MPs] are not there now,” she said. “Why are they waiting until Wednesday?

“Boris Johnson needs to step up to the plate and make a decision not based on what America is doing.

“Fighting on the ground has not solved the issue. We need to engage with the Taliban.

“You cannot impose a centralised, westernised government on that country. You need to understand their country and its needs and not just impose what we say they should have.

“We have wasted 20 years of people’s lives. It is just heart-breaking.”

Torfaen MP and shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has written to home secretary Priti Patel calling for Britain to commit to resettling those who have supported its armed forces in Afghanistan.

“Clearly the situation in Afghanistan is going to place in danger even more people who have bravely served with British representatives,” his letter read. “As a result, it is clear that we must significantly increase the opportunities for those at risk to find safety in the UK.

“It is vital that Britain and our allies live up to our obligations to those who have put themselves in harm’s way.”

Speaking to the Argus, Mr Thomas-Symonds said: “The scenes in Afghanistan are a dark day for the world.

“Britain has an obligation to those people in Afghanistan who have served so bravely alongside our representatives on the ground.

“I have written to the home secretary urging the UK Government to act – urgently – in order to help secure their safety.”

Mr Thomas-Symonds also paid tribute to those who have served their country in Afghanistan, adding the whole country owes them “an enormous debt of gratitude.”

“This is also an important moment to remember the incredible sacrifices made by members of the British armed forces and their families, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice – including families here in Torfaen,” he said.

“When their country called our service men and women responded with incredible bravery, professionalism and skill.

“We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their work, tackling terrorism, and improving the lives of so many people.”