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Thread: Hand-over of Bastion

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    UK troops hand over Camp Bastion to Afghan forces, ending 13-year campaign | UK news | The Guardian

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    Michael Fallon, the British defence secretary, has said mistakes were made in Afghanistan, as the last UK base was handed over to the control of the Afghan security forces, bringing to an end British troops’ campaign in Helmand province.

    At the handover ceremony at Camp Bastion on Sunday British and US troops stood side by side as the union flag and the Stars and Stripes were lowered at the base for the last time.

    It brings to an end a costly chapter in the 13-year campaign, with the vast majority of the 453 troops who died in the conflict losing their lives fighting the Taliban insurgency in Helmand.

    Fallon said politicians and generals had made some poor decisions but much had been achieved since troops arrived in 2001. As UK combat operations end, Afghan security forces will take a greater role.

    The defence secretary said: “Mistakes were made militarily, mistakes were made by the politicians at the time and this goes back 10, 13 years.

    “Clearly the numbers weren’t there at the beginning, the equipment wasn’t quite good enough at the beginning and we’ve learned an awful lot from the campaign. But don’t let’s ignore what has been achieved.”

    He said the bulk of British troops would be home by Christmas, with a few hundred staying to help with training at the officer academy.

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