PM Afghanistan Strategy Speech

he Prime Minister has outlined the Government’s long-term strategy
in Afghanistan, promising more support for troops and a stronger focus
on increasing the presence of the Afghan army.

During a speech at the Institute of International Strategic Studies,
Gordon Brown said the more Afghans can take responsibility for security
in the short term, the less coalition forces will be needed in the long

Mr Brown said British troops would speed up their training of Afghan
forces and move to a partnership role, “living, training and fighting
alongside them”.

But he said in the short term UK forces would also have to address
the changing tactics of the Taliban, in particular the increased use of
mines and roadside bombs.

The PM said the Government was committed to ensuring that British
forces have the resources necessary to do their job and promised
ongoing investment in helicopters and vehicles.

“We have since 2006 spent over £1 billion from the
reserve on new vehicles for Afghanistan, including 280 mastiffs which
offer world-leading protection against IEDs. Between November 2006 and
April this year we increased the number of helicopter hours by 84 per
cent – and on top of that, as well sharing coalition helicopters, we
lease hundreds of hours each month from commercial operators for
routine supplies.”

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