Ex-Defence Minister: China, Russia And Iran 'Laughing Their Socks Off' After Afghanistan Withdrawal

Former defence minister and SAS officer Lord Robathan has described the Western withdrawal from Afghanistan as "the worst disaster that NATO has had in its existence".

Speaking during the second reading of the Armed Forces Bill in the House of Lords, he said: "The humiliating defeat and disaster that was the withdrawal from Afghanistan has changed the geopolitical spectrum beyond recognition.

"NATO is now exposed as weak and, I'm afraid, rudderless."

He added: "China and Russia and Iran - all of whom I regret to say are not our closest friends - are laughing their socks off."

Lord Robathan also criticised the down-sizing of the Armed Forces, saying: "The idea of reducing the Army by 11%, reducing the number of ships, reducing the number of aircraft that we can use in these times is bonkers.

"It's absolutely bonkers."

By 2025 the Army will be cut to 72,500 soldiers – its lowest level since 1714.

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