Mr Redwood’s contribution to the statement on Afghanistan (NATO Strategy), 18 September

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.


  1. David Jarman
    September 18, 2012

    (A piece claiming that 9/11 has been falsely described, that the US authorities seek pretexts for wars etc without evidence to support-ed)

  2. David Jarman
    September 19, 2012

    Although you’re happy to refer to 9/11 as a terrorist attack with no evidence to support it! I have plenty of evidence but a little difficult to squeeze into a little box. (No time to watch link – I am not in a position to launch a different explanation of the attack on the twin towers-ed)

  3. pedroelingles
    September 19, 2012

    Mr Hammond should consider the realities facing a well-intentioned Afghan soldier under training with our forces. What would his reaction be if his wife, children and entire family back in his village were threatened with, at the worst, be-heading by the local Taliban if his cooperation was not forthcoming? With the best will in the world can trustworthiness even of the most well intentioned Afghan Trooper be guaranteed whether our Forces are present or not? Facts must be appreciated and recognition and understanding of the opposing medieval mind-set in this war is essential but proving difficult for the seemingly overly sophisticated susceptibilities of many on the Front Bench. Clearly there is no point in pursuing the loss of more lives and the legacy of lifetime suffering from dreadful injuries being inflicted and we should cooperate with the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan before Christmas 2012. pedroelingles.

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