Pte Nathan Cuthbertson's dad says Biden 'right' on Afghanistan withdrawal

The bereaved father of a Sunderland soldier who died in Afghanistan in 2008 has told ITV News Tyne Tees that Joe Biden was "right" to withdraw US troops from the country.

A week on from the fall of Afghanistan, which saw the Taliban take control of the capital city, Kabul, former prime minister, Tony Blair, has attacked the US president's decison to pull troops out.

He said it was "tragic, dangerous and unnecessary", claiming: "We didn't need to do it. We chose to do it. We did it in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending 'the forever wars', as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or even 10 years ago, and in circumstances in which troop numbers had declined to a minimum and no allied soldier had lost their life in combat for 18 months."

Pte Cuthbertson's dad, Tom, said "like Biden said, he’s spent billions. He’s equipped them. He’s given them the infrastructure to look after theirselves and they haven’t done that, so how much further can we go on with it?

"At some point we have to retract and get out and let them live their own lives and you know, we’ve got to ask the question, should we have been there in the first place? The Taliban, maybe the only solution now is to sit them around the table probably and to discuss like we did with the IRA."

The Cuthbertson's have raised £350,000 for charity since their son died and they were taking part in the annual Cuthy's Big Bike Ride from Sunderland to Hartlepool and back.

Pte Cuthbertson's mum, Carla, said this year has been particularly poignant with the developments in Afghanistan occupying everyone's minds.

She said: "seeing the Taliban and their faces, I literally had to turn the TV off, because I was filling up. The I got up the next day, went to go into work, and it was on the radio and I had to pull over and I literally sobbed my heart out and I just thought why? Why have they died? You know, for nothing. Twenty year, twenty year, and we just think he was 19."