Last Team Out of Kabul
Surrounded by the Taliban
ISBN 9781802471113 (PB)
FORMAT B format
As a Royal Marine, in 2001, H. Collins served in Afghanistan post 9/11, on operations pushing the Taliban back across the Pakistan border, and was part of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He returned for a second tour of duty in Iraq in 2004. In 2005, as a private contractor, having left the Marines, he spent five years in Ramadi and Fallujah, Iraq’s ‘triangle of death’. He subsequently worked providing anti-piracy security in the IRTC (International Recommended Transit Corridor) through the Gulf of Aden.
In 2014, H was back in Afghanistan, in Kabul, providing security as a civilian contractor team leader to the Japanese Embassy. In 2021, when the chaotic evacuation of Kabul began, the Japanese government was struggling to come to a decision regarding evacuation of its embassy. The British, Germans, Canadians and others had already evacuated, but H and his team had to take Japanese embassy staff on a drive around Kabul’s eerily empty Green Zone to convince them that they were now alone.
Left Behind in Kabul focusses on the final, fraught six days that H and his team spent in Kabul. Their first attempt to reach the security company’s HQ ran into a firefight between Afghan government forces and the Taliban. With all routes blocked, it had to be aborted.
H’s small team was surrounded by the Taliban. No help would come and the Taliban’s intentions were far from clear. Would H and the others left behind make it through the increasingly chaotic city and airport and out of the country?