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Afghanistan

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

20. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress is being made in training Afghan security forces in peacekeeping. (87204)

Over 28,000 Afghan troops and over 30,000 police have been trained and equipped, although their training does not focus specifically on peacekeeping activities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which countries have troops operating under the international security assistance force in Afghanistan; how many troops they had deployed on 10 July; and what restrictions are in place on the use of these forces. (85093)

As at 10 July, the following 36 countries contribute a total of around 10,000 troops to the international security assistance force (ISAF) in Afghanistan:

Albania

Austria

Azerbaijan

Belgium

Bulgaria

Canada

Celand

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

FYROM

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

New Zealand

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

The Netherlands

Turkey

UK

US

I am withholding details of the caveats nations may apply to the use of their armed forces in Afghanistan as this would, or would be likely, to prejudice the safety of our armed forces and those of our allies. The nations deploying to ISAF stage 3 in the south well understand the challenging operational environment there, and the need for robust rules of engagement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) the number of Intelligence Corps personnel based in Helmand province and (b) the resources provided to the Intelligence Corps in Afghanistan. (85774)

The force package deployed to Afghanistan is that recommended by the Chiefs of Staff as the right force for the task.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what facilities are available for the detention of military detainees in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (86700)

[holding answer 20 July 2006]: UK armed forces have temporary holding facilities available in the south. NATO and UK policy is that detainees should either be transferred to the Afghan authorities within 96 hours, or released.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role of British forces in Afghanistan's counter-narcotics campaign. (87198)

Troops deployed as part of the NATO-led international security assistance force (ISAF)—including British forces deployed as part of the Helmand Task Force—are authorised to provide support to Afghan counter-narcotics forces, including training, and they will help the Afghans create a secure environment in which economic development and institutional reform—both essential to the elimination of the opium industry—can take place.