Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): The Secretary of State made the welcome comment that the international forces wished to lower their profile at a time of trouble, but then he seemed to imply that that applied only to American forces. What action has been taken to protect British forces? What is the approach to their having to co-operate with people who may intend their death, and would he not move more quickly to Afghans policing dangerous places in Afghanistan?
The Secretary of State for Defence: (Mr Philip Hammond): As I said yesterday, a number of measures have been taken by ISAF and British commanders to improve our own force protection. I cannot go into all the details, but I shall give an example. There is much evidence that there is a much lower risk where long-term partnering arrangements are in place—in other words, where a group of troops are working with a group of Afghan troops on a daily basis—and much more risk where these partnering and mentoring activities are on an ad hoc basis, so that relationships are not built. We have moved to make sure that the overwhelming majority of our contacts with Afghans are on the basis of long-term partnering where relationships are built, and thus greater safety is ensured.