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Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment UK officials have made of the feasibility of making concurrent progress on security and counter-narcotics objectives in Afghanistan. (82425)

The UK’s aim in Afghanistan is to support the development of a free, secure and stable state. The drugs trade feeds on and contributes to insecurity in Afghanistan and the wider region, and insurgents and drug traffickers flourish in the same ungoverned space. It needs therefore to be tackled to ensure improvements in the overall security.

This cannot be done by military means alone, and so we are working closely with other Government Departments to deliver a comprehensive package of military, economic, diplomatic and developmental support to the Afghan Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Sabre and (b) Scimitar vehicles are deployed in Afghanistan. (82829)

To declare the exact vehicle mix currently in or planned for Afghanistan would be detrimental to the safety of UK personnel and disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the security of the armed forces.