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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the prospects for conflict resolution in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (225962)

Afghanistan continues to present significant security challenges, particularly in the south and east of the country where the Taliban continue to use intimidation and violence against the local population. Key to our strategy is ensuring there are political-led solutions in Afghanistan as the insurgency cannot be defeated by military means alone. There are no quick solutions, but we continue to support the Government of Afghanistan's efforts to bring disaffected Afghans into society's mainstream.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what types of helicopter are deployed in Afghanistan undertaking (a) combat support roles and (b) medical evacuation roles; and how many of each type are deployed. (227021)

ISAF helicopter support is provided from a multinational pool. The UK has provided Chinook, Sea King and Lynx helicopters in Afghanistan to undertake combat support roles and has also deployed Apache attack helicopters. The UK also makes use of a range of civilian helicopters through a NATO contract. While any helicopter could in extremis be used to support medical evacuation, Chinook and Sea King helicopters are primarily tasked for this specific purpose.

I am withholding the numbers of helicopters deployed as disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.