Plaid Cymru was right to oppose the Afghanistan war in 2001, the party's MP for Arfon has said. 

Writing in the Sunday Times, Hywel Williams said the Afghanistan failure shows it is now time to retire the "toxic pretensions of Global Britain".

Plaid Cymru’s International Affairs spokesperson, says that despite the campaign being a “disaster” for the west, there has been little reflection on the decision to go to war in the first place.

President George W Bush, who took the decision for the United States to invade Afghanistan in 2001, following 9/11, has told the BBC he stands by the decision. 

Meanwhile, much of the debate in the UK has focussed on the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan last month, as opposed to the initial invasion.

Only 17 MPs voted against military intervention in 2001, including the Plaid Cymru group at the time.

Mr Williams is among only four of those 17 MPs who remain in Parliament today.

He said that the party warned at the time that a “lack of a clearly defined purpose for the campaign and hazy overarching aims, without an exit as well as an entry strategy, would lead to long term entanglement.”

READ MORE: "What was it all for?" military families reflect on 20-year war

Now, Mr Williams says the failure in Afghanistan should force the UK Government to "rethink" its foreign policy and "retire the toxic pretensions of a ‘Global Britain’ ruling far off waves, skies, and lands.”

In his piece, Mr Williams writes: “It seems a pathetic understatement to say that this is a defeat and indeed a disaster for the west.

"Its tenets, its strategy and tactics for imposing its policies and have been proved to be a failure.

"Furthermore, supposedly overwhelming military might and roughly transplanted forms of democracy have proved to be insufficient.

“This debacle is as significant for the West as the Suez crisis was for the UK, only on a much larger scale.

"Suez marked the end of one middling country’s imperial delusions and the beginning of less overt, though no less toxic, forms of colonialism.

"But the Afghan defeat has stopped the leading superpower in its tracks. Its up-and-coming rivals will not be slow in filling the vacuum.”

"When Plaid Cymru announced our decision to oppose the war on humanitarian grounds, we were described as appeasers.

"We were told that military action was essential to defeat the terrorist threat, despite a lack of clear war aims or any explanation of how carpet bombing, drone attacks, special forces actions and eventual invasion would lead to peace.

"We said from the outset that the lack of a clearly defined purpose for the campaign and hazy overarching aims, without an exit as well as an entry strategy, would lead to long term entanglement."

During the twenty-year war in Afghanistan, there were 457 deaths of UK armed forces personnel.

More than 46,000 civilians have been killed by all sides in the conflict, and now, with the Talian filling the vacuum and controlling vast areas of the country, there are fears of further humanitarian disasters as the group are expected to rule with an iron fist and the international community considers sanctions.

“Joe Biden does now say that the era of ‘major military operations to remake other countries’ is over," Mr Williams continued. 

"Those many countries who host American and other allied forces might well be sceptical.

“For the UK, it is high time to rethink its foreign policy, how it uses its military might and how it secures domestic democratic political consent for action. Suez was 65 years ago.

"It is time to retire the toxic pretensions of a ‘Global Britain’ ruling far off waves, skies, and lands.”

If you value The National's political journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.