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Volume 705: debated on Monday 17 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the remarks of General Sir Peter Wall about sending further troops to Afghanistan and its effects on the views of the public there. [HL6001]

As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister made plain in another place on 12 December 2007 (Official Report, Commons, col. 303), our commitment to Afghanistan is for the long term.

In line with the Prime Minister's Statement, Lieutenant-General Wall was highlighting the importance of the comprehensive approach. He was explaining that there needs to be a greater recognition that Afghanistan's problems will not be solved by military means alone. Any requests for an increase in force levels will be considered very carefully in light of developments on the ground, especially in the context of our efforts to improve governance and take forward reconstruction and stabilisation in Afghanistan.

Recent polling by the Asia Foundation, while finding concerns about security and the direction of progress on their country, also found that a large majority of Afghans are content with their Government. We shall continue to work with the Afghan Government to develop their capacity.