Father of Sunderland solider Nathan Cuthbertson says he 'died for a lost cause' after fall of Afghanistan

The father of a Sunderland solider killed on duty in Afghanistan has said his son ‘died for a lost cause’ as the country slides into chaos.

Tom and Carla Cuthbertson
Tom and Carla Cuthbertson

Pte Nathan Cuthbertson was serving with the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) when he was killed while on foot patrol in June 2008.

Nathan was one of three paratroopers who died when a lone insurgent detonated an explosive in the country’s Helmand Province.

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He was just 19.

Tom Cuthbertson

Since his death, mum and dad Tom and Carla have devoted themselves to honouring his legacy, with an annual bike ride from Catterick Garrison back to Sunderland which has raised thousands for charity.

Now Tom has spoken of his despair after seeing Afghanistan fall back under the control of the Taliban after the withdrawal of Western forces.

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"I think it is sad. I think our Nathan and others have given their lives for a lost cause,” he said.

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Nathan Cuthbertson

The war had taken a toll in many ways, said Tom: “I am quite upset to think about all the young people who came back maimed and scarred or with mental health problems when you look at the way it has turned out. You think ‘What has it all been about?’

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“You have got to ask the question ‘Was it worth it being there in the first place?’ – the money that has been spent and all the lives that have been lost, the cost both financial and in lives is so ridiculous.

“I think that we have lost our way and it has just been a pointless, pointless war.”

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Tom had expected the Taliban to reassert control once the allies had left but has been taken aback by how quickly the country has fallen: “I did not expect things to get so bad so quickly,” he said.

"I did not expect the Taliban to have taken over at such a speed. It has just been incredible.

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"It is tragic to think of all those people fleeing for their lives and that probably the only thing we can do now is just to sit down and talk to the Taliban.

“It is a shame the ways things have turned out.”

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