A British soldier who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan has said his colleagues “died in vain,” after the Taliban regained control over the country.
Jack Cummings, a former bomb disposal specialist, who served two tours in Afghanistan with the 101 Engineer Regiment,said that “seeing the past week what’s going on in Afghanistan” he felt “he had to express [his] views”, describing the situation as “heartbreaking.”
Mr Cummings posted on Twitter on the 11th year anniversary of his accident, which he calls his “Bangaversary,” saying: “Was it worth it, probably not. Did I lose my legs for nothing, looks like it. Did my mates die in vain. Yep.”
In an interview with the BBC, the former Invictus Games competitor said that although he was usually a private person, he had felt he needed to share his feelings on the situation unfolding in Afghanistan.
When asked why he had decided to do so, he said that he “just needed to vent basically”, whilst also saying that he felt “anger”, “betrayal” and “sadness” for what both he and his friends have sacrificed and lost “for it just to go to smoke in a couple of weeks.”
“It shouldn’t have happened like that, surely it shouldn’t have happened like that,” he said.
Speaking about his time in the British Army, Mr Cummings said that he “honestly thought being out there [he] was doing good”, that he knew what he had signed up for, “had a brilliant time in the military” and “would do it all over again in a heartbeat”.
He went on to add that he knew there was “no easy way to withdraw from a country” and that “we couldn’t have stayed there forever”, but said that it was particularly saddening to see the ease with which the Taliban had swept through Afghanistan.
The soldier did however say that some people had responded to his question: “Was it worth it?” saying that the British Army’s work in the South Asian country had in fact made a difference.
He too acknowledged that the 20-year UK presence in the country had meant that young girls were getting an education.
In his final few moments on air, Mr Cummings said: “I hope something comes out of this”, adding: “All I can do is wish the 600 paratroopers the best and hope they come home safe and sound.”
The news comes as the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul with a number of Western countries evacuating their citizens from the country and chaos unfolding at Kabul airport as people attempt to flee.