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The REAL reasons behind the Afghan debacle and what it means for the West.
An evening with best selling author Colonel Stuart Tootal DSO OBE, Commanding Officer, 3 PARA during the first campaign in Helmand.

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Wednesday 17th November 2021.

Venue: Upstairs, Prince Albert Pub, Albert Bridge Road, SW11.

Drinks (cash bar), Talk,

dinner for those that want to stay on. 

  Arrive/Drinks 7pm (Cash Bar)

Talk 7.30pm

Dinner (not included in price) 8.45pm



Early Bird (before 1st October)  - £20

Standard - £30

Late Deciders (after 31st October) - £40

Col Stuart Tootal led The 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) spearheading the UK's first deployment into Helmand in 2006. The then Labour Government promised this would be no more than a peace keeping exercise. But it wrought the fiercest fighting any British military unit has endured since the Korean War, according to NATO commander General Richards. Despite no clear mission and insufficient equipment and manpower, Stuart's men won a crucial break in the battle for the British campaign, with dogged fighting and courage. Tootal was awarded the DSO for his inspirational leadership.

This is a rare opportunity to hear unique insights by the best selling author about what went wrong since 2006, how in his view the result could have been different and what future governments should learn.

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Standard £30 tickets are avialble throughout October. After 31st October Late Tickets are available at £40 each, if any tickets are left. 

We'll be seeking clarity on as many of these questions as time allows:

  • Should the West recognise that economics are crucial to influencing human behaviour and that burning profitable poppies, Helmand's speciality and main income source, would never win hearts and minds?

  • How would Stuart like to have acquired allegiances of Helmand's locals? 

  • If Biden hadn't withdrawn, what would become of Afghanistan?

  • How will the Taliban likely govern? (Can their promises be taken at face value?)

  • To what extent does the saying "my enemy's (ISIS-K) enemy is my friend" mean the West will engage with, and help, the Taleban?

  • What can and should the West do to counter China, Russia and Iran in Afghanistan - if anything?

  • Now that Western democracies can't absolutely rely on the US for military support, what are their options?

  • As British Military Forces are arguably some of the best in the World, what role should Britain play in future nation building and peacekeeping, if any?

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Prior to commanding 3 PARA, Stuart served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders and then the Parachute Regiment in Northern Ireland, the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After being promoted to Full Colonel in 2008, Stuart left the British Army, set up the Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust for wounded soldiers and, in the corporate sector, headed up security for the one of the World’s largest banks. He founded, and now runs, Matero Consulting, helping businesses drive their change agendas. Stuart is a prolific commentator on military and security matters and has written the Sunday Times Best Seller Danger Close.

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