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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  December 1, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST

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believe it's wrong. i want to make it right but i believe it's wrong to put money forth from group extremists. ministry of defense staff have lost their lives and many more have been ensured. his is a high price to pay so first of all let me endorse what the prime minister has said about forces. they're doing an extraordinary job and they have the ad mir rakes and support of the whole country and we back the reasons for being in afghanistan that is to enable afghans to look after their own security without presenting a danger to the rest of the world. the sooner that happens the sooner our forces can come home. i wanted to ask about three areas. first political and military surge. second the conference planned for january and third the time table in which the prime minister set out for handing over provinces and districts to afghan control. on the five hundred additional
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british troops this is the same further deployment the prime fin minister announced. . . d the house on the 18th of november allies about increasing their contribution. can he tell us which countries have pledged more troops? how many are these in total? how many troops in total and when will they be deployed and how many of them will go to helmand? the second condition was to insure the forces at the necessary equipment. the prime minister says they will have that equipment. this was a test set by the this was a test set by the government and j government. while more helicopters are welcome, is it not the case that the year -- the support that the u.s. have in afghanistan have
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far more helicopters? is it not also the case that the mill -- the marlins are ordered before? personally cut 1.4 billion pounds of the helicopter program, we would not be in the situation we are in today. the third condition is that additional afghan forces were deployed. he gave us the figures today. can he assure us that they will remain in helmand once deployed? can he comment on that less than 10% of afghan forces are actually in helmand, even though almost half the fighting takes place there. the prime minister has set up some benchmarks. i have to ask why it is 3.5 years after our forces are right that we are setting out such conditions? is it credible to deal with
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corruption in the police in his six-month timetable when we have not managed in the last 3.5 years? in respect of what he said about governors, most are already in place, what exactly does the prime minister mean? does it mean that some of the current governors must be replaced? next, a london conference. -- does he believe that the bomb settlement does it wrong? there will be a central figure? will the prime minister create a afghanistan's neighbors to help deliver stability? turning to pakistan, some of the prime minister's remarks at the weekend reported in the press are different to what he said in
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the chamber. when asked in october about pakistan, she went out of his way to defend the way in which pakistan was taking on al qaeda. "planning how to deal with not only the pakistan tell then but the afghan taliban and al qaeda itself." encouraging. for -- to criticize pakistan for failing to deal with al qaeda. there is but -- there has been much specialized -- speculation about the time tables. i have to say, mr. deputy speaker, the statement to the house is slightly different to the briefing given to the press over the weekend. the prime minister says he wants the london conference to determine the conditions for transferring provinces in districts to afghan control. the prime minister also said, in
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transferred by the end of 2010, and he believed this would be possible for one or two districts in helmand. how could he be confidence of this timetable before the london conference has met and set benchmarks? we all want our troops to come home as soon as possible as soon prime minister agree, we must never do -- does the prime minister agree, that we should never give the impression to the tel then we will not see this through? -- to tell that that we will not see this through? -- to the taliban that we will not see this through? can we assure the people that any discussion of timetables will be based on information on the ground? >> mr. prime minister? >> mr. speaker, first of all, i
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want to thank the leader of the opposition for his continuing support for the work of our forces in afghanistan. i think we should get this in proper perspective. first of all, we are fighting terrorism, fighting al qaeda and pakistan, but to do so successfully, we have to prevent them having space in afghanistan. our time is up -- it is not simply a military strategy, it is a political strategy that all the time the afghan people can take more responsibility and more control over their own affairs. i do not think i could've been clearer in saying that our objectives are not limited by dates. achievements. it is the achievement of afghan control and the ability of afghan people to take responsibility for their security that is the determining issue in all of this.
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this is not a time-specific commitment. it is a task-to civic commitment. -- task-specific commitment. let me answer questions about conditions. eight countries had pledged more troops in afghanistan, and i did say i expected more countries to do so in the run-up to the january conference on january 28. i did also say that president karzai had promised 5000 afghan forces transferred to helmand to partner with british i did also say these recruits are starting to see me now into hlemanelmand and they will be deployed with british forces in the months to come. i said previously that the imbalance between the numbers of afghan forces has had to be addressed, and this is one way of doing so. in total, 10,000 afghan forces
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will be trained in helmand over the next few months. the hon. gentleman it shouts i should name all the countries. it is for these countries to make their own announcements. the secretary general of nato has made it clear to me and to other people that eight countries have already given the pledge of additional forces and that other countries are going to follow. as far as our own troops and their equipment are concerned, i do say the chief of the defense talked about the increase of ground forces and helmand. he said we have 1/3 more protective cup -- patrol vehicles, helicopters have gone up. it is also going up in quality. the equipment people are using is the best they ever had. the leader of the opposition also asked me about the
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conference on january 28. in the conference is designed to bring the international community together. i said in my statement, and he must not have picked this up, we wanted a new international coordinator to be able to deal with the problems of the civilian and military cooperation in afghanistan, and i hope that when a replacement consider the overall coordination of that effort. at the conference in january, we will want to discuss how the neighbors of afghanistan can come together to give in future guarantees about afghan's security and its freedom from interference. economic and social development of afghanistan. when it comes to this conference, i believe other countries will wish to make announcements about troops.
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i also believe the issue of constitutional reform that the leader has raised in the possibility of constitutional reform for afghanistan may be the subject of remarks that president karzai may want to make, and we want to have further agreement about how we could transfer the security responsibility to the afghan people. countries in afghanistan will attend, is an important milestone in the development of the policy of the international community in cooperation with afghanistan. pakistan -- it is right, mr. deputy speaker, that 30,000 aziristan, -- are cornering al qaeda. this is an important development.
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the most significant thing that has happened in the region is the pakistan government and all authorities, including opposition parties in pakistan, have recognized if they do not take action against al qaeda, then they themselves will fall victim to terrorism within their own country as well as allow floors in pakistan. -- to flourish in pakistan. pakistan is now taking action in these areas. -- made clear by president obama is also clear, however, that more action needs to be taken if al qaeda is operating within pakistan and operating within that country and seeking further space to operate, it is the duty of the pakistani authorities to work with international partners to attempt to isolate al qaeda and pakistan.
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i do not think there is any contradiction. it is important to recognize it is important also to recognize that for the last eight years, al qaeda has been able to send instructions from pakistan to the rest of the world and to organize from pakistan terrorist attacks that have affected every continent. speaker, we are providing the additional troops -- mr. speaker we are providing the additional troops. it is a unique coalition that has never before been assembled, one that involves the nato terrorist problem. i believe we are giving the troops the equipment and resources necessary to do the i hope all country will support us in doing so. >> mr. deputy speaker, i welcome the prime minister's statement and join him in recognizing and commanding the enormously impressive work, the selfless
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bravery of our armed forces in afghanistan. of course, i join him in welcoming the soldiers from the 19th light brigade and others who are in the house of commons today. it has finally become mainstream to talk about the need for a big shift in our strategy in afghanistan. when i first questioned the effectiveness of our action there six months ago, and called for precisely this kind of step change, -- >> [clamoring] >> i was told it was unpatriotic to do so. the prime minister's tone since then has been dramatic and welcome. our approach has always been simple. we should do it properly or not do it at all. does the prime minister agree that success is not just about troop numbers in that focusing on troop numbers as he can -- as he has done today, is putting the cart before the horse? there is no point sending a
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single extra soldier and less first the strategy they need to succeed in their mission is in place. why is the prime minister making any announcements at all about troop numbers today when we will obama's announcement tomorrow what the new strategy is and what chances it has of success? i have in the past criticized the prime minister for keeping quiet on afghanistan, failing to speak out in support of our as he swung too far in the other direction, seeking to make an announcement on to the numbers before we know whether things are in place which would allow them to succeed? we know from previous successful peacekeeping missions, such as in the balkans, that you cannot succeed unless you have the support from all the big regional powers. pakistan, china and russia. it also means iran.
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can the prime minister tell us how we will find a way to take a tough stance with iran while seeking to keep them engaged in securing peace in afghanistan? @@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ what happens presidentskarzai does not achieve his goal? what about developing a plan b? what about dealing instead with local and regional government? i am sure he agrees with me that given the corruption, we should not hold our breath for him to change but work on finding ways to succeed without him if he does not succeed. talking about improved equipment for our troops and the welcome delivery of new masthead
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vehicles, can he confirm that this means the protected land rovers are no longer being used by any of our troops? let me address the issue of troop deployments. it was the prime minister himself is said the deployment of any extra british troops would be conditional on other she refuses to tell us today exactly what other countries are sharing the burden. condition, will he now be clear and detailed in setting out what he expects, which nato countries are offering troops, when will they all arrive, and what will there will be on the ground? for several years now, our troops -- since our troops first stepped into afghanistan, the government's strategy has been over ambitions and under resorts. -- underresourced.
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>> mr. speaker, again, i think we should concentrate on where believe that the strategy of moving to greater control by the afghans themselves over their own security is the right one. we agree that would require the extra military numbers that we are putting in theater, but so, too, are other countries. it will be complemented by political strategy which i have argued has got to be building up the afghan army and police, national government free of corruption and giving people an economics teacher -- stake in the future. i believe on all these things we are agreed. as far as commitments the afghans must make, it is not possible for us to get a blank check to the afghanistanis.
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we must look to the promises they have made about delivering troops that can be trained in theater with britain and other coalition allies. but the test is not in the words that come from addresses in statements. the test is an actual delivery. that is why i have put more force on what has been dominant in the last few days, since president karzai started his second term, then on the statements made before these early days. i think it is important to recognize that troops are being provided, that an anti- corruption task force, more will be done but we have seen a start to delivery on a number of key president and demanded he make. as far as vehicles in the field are concerned, we do need some small vehicles as well as the larger vehicles.
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we have more mastiff, we have more respect, -- -- ridgeback. i agree that what we must do is make sure that all our troops are the best equipped as possible. the truth is, we have had to move from a situation from face- to-face combat with the talent and to a gorilla war conducted members, in particular, to damage our moral and damage and kill our troops. we have had to adjust our sure work against explosive devices -- extra work against explosive devices, and unmanned drones to enable us to do surveillance. i have to say that we have found a great deal of success, more
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had been dismantled. we ever responsibility to do more. that is why we have increased the amount of equipment. all these tasks -- there will be more engineers going into afghanistan in the next few months to ensure that our increased number of troops is properly protected. i assure you we take very seriously what he says about equipment and about the the safety of our troops. but i believe the answer is in the investment we are making with new helicopters, new vehicles and the special devices. >> mike gates? >> thank you, mr. deputy speaker. government is in meeting benchmarks, we ourselves are in
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afghanistan for our own national security reasons. in that context, the prime efforts of the pakistani government, but how confidence is he that the civilian government in pakistan has got the power to shift the focus of its military and intelligence rather than its obsession with india? >> mr. speaker, my friend who is an expert is absolutely right to draw attention to the importance and to draw attention to the fact we are in afghanistan for national security reasons, because there is a terrorist threat to the people of our country. it is not enough for us to borders. it is important that we combat the terrorists at the source. i have spoken to the president of pakistan. i keep in touch with the opposition as well. i also talked to the military,
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as do other members of the government and our armed forces. we can be sure that the pakistani authorities are where they have to deal with the threat posed by the pakistan tell them but also al qaeda. -- pakistan taliban but also al qaeda. we have to take a long-term view of pakistan. dramatically -- dramatically over future years. the numbers of young people subject to influence by extremist groups and large -- is large. the education system with a number of addresses that exist being indoctrinated by extremist ideology is in madrassahs. he is right to insist that we put resources into education. the foreign secretary has undertaken a review of pakistani educational systems and we are
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making a number of proposals that would improve the textbooks as well as the quality of education available in the schools and pakistan, to which we are prepared to devote substantial resources to enable pakistan to have an education we want to work with pakistan on a comprehensive strategy. can ask proper questions about the details of this statement, prime minister of the words that it is important to have delivery on the ground rather than just words, may i say that it is at last high time that the prime minister has come to take real personal charge of the argument in favor of why we are there. the fact that we are in
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that of the stability of pakistan with its nuclear weapons is something which the prime minister does need to argue in favor of. would he agree that this statement is not the end of that argument but the beginning of many statements? >> i appreciate what he says is chairman of the defense committee. for all of us to share this view threat and it has to be dealt with at source as well as within our own countries, it is important we explain to the general public what we are doing and why we have now -- we are building a case for being in afghanistan but what our strategy is to enable afghans to take more control of their own affairs so that our troops can come home. we should assure people that we have a plan and this tragedy that is broad and supported across nato.
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>> can i just say to the house that these are serious matters. could i ask, please, for one very brief question, perhaps one brief reply. >> prime minister, it is a good statement because we see a light at the end of the tunnel. i hope the light of that tunnel comes out. will you confirm there is no truth and the rumor that the italians are pulling their troops out before christmas, that canadians are talking about pulling troops out, the dutch will pull troops out, the getting their troops in? can he confirm these rumors? >> i cannot confirm all of these rumors.
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netherlands have made announcements about the time- limited nature of their deployment to afghanistan, but it is also true that a number of countries are ready to put in additional troops into afghanistan. this includes members of nato members of nato. and i am satisfied that there will be thousands of additional troops provided, not just by america and britain but also adding to that number will be troops from other countries. i said to the nato secretary general, eight countries have already indicated that they have numbers of troops that are prepared to deploy. i think it is also true to say that he has indications from announcements soon. >> why has the president of pakistan just announced that he has given up his personal control of that countries's nuclear weapons and transfer them to his prime minister, when for years we have been assured
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that their nuclear weapons were under the control of the army and not the politicians? >> mr. speaker, in a democracy, it seems right politicians make the final decisions. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my right hon. friend rightly focused on the equipment. in a recent opening -- the secretary of state saw the with how much pride that our workers are producing first- class equipment for our troops. could he assure us that this information could get out to our constituents without putting our troops at risk? so that they know we have confidence in our troops and we are giving them the best of the equipment produced in the uk? >> my hon. friend is absolutely right. the equipment being produced for our troops to deal with guerrilla warfare being practiced by the talavou and it
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is of very high quality and i am proud -- produced by the taliban and it is of very high quality. i am proud. we will continue to upgrade the equipment available to our forces, in addition to the defense budget, several billion vehicles, helicopters, equipment to deal with ied's. some very notable firms are responsible for these advances that we are making in both technology and equipment. >> with regard to the london conference, will the prime minister undertake to invite russia, china and india to take part? willie except that this is not only appropriate is they face -- will he accept that this is not only appropriate as they faced the same terrorist threats, but their presence would reassure unlike iraq, our presence in afghanistan has the unanimous support of united nations
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security council? >> mr. speaker, the former foreign secretary is a blip -- absolutely right, that any sentiment that will insure not interference by other members -- it will have to include members of the countries mentioned. they to be part of better security arrangements for afghanistan. as far as specific details of the london conference, i hope we will be able to announce more information. says, that there have to be talks with the countries in the region about how they can secure the future of afghanistan and build the economic, cultural, and cultural links -- social links that are necessary if afghanistan is to control its own affairs. this morning -- this summer, i was able to see the very
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excellent medical facilities we had there. with the increase in numbers being deployed, will he ensure that there is a commensurate increase in@@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ á the services provided by those people who are charged with the health care of those people who are fighting in afghanistan for it i have seen for myself as much of this. the facilities, the weight those hospitals have the most modern of equipment in the world and the way the medical staff care for those people who have been wounded, injured, or who are having difficulty in relation to what is happening in the-theater in afghanistan. we partner with the americans to improve it at all times.
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we have also determined that the facilities are the best for those members of our armed forces who are injured and meet recovery and for rehabilitation we have invested substantially. the prime minister has deal with the terrorist threat at its source. can he tell the house what proportion of terrorist threats years have been directly connected with the afghani tell them rather than the pakistani taliban? >> i was talking about al qaeda and the threat posed in the united kingdom by terrorist plots either organize or in collaboration with people who are members of al qaeda and pakistan. i think the evidence is that many of the plots we have had to deal with, including the most instructions that come from al
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my point about the tell a man is this, that if al qaeda -- my power, there would be a greater danger is not just in the region but on the streets of britain. >> the prime minister mentioned the whole country and the whole statement today. was it not appropriate to remind the house that we are there in nations are in the coalition and eight other countries have pledged troops? would it not be appropriate for the secretary-general of the united station or beat -- united nations to name needs countries? my friend is absolutely right. this is a unique venture.
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it is difficult to look back on this were so many countries come coalition, the leadership of nato and the united nations, and they are committed to providing additional resources to enable the surge in military activity to happen, but at the same time, to enable the political settlement. as far as the naming of countries that have offered troops, it is possible for me to refer to statements that have been made by different leaders in different countries, but i think the announcements should be made by these leaders themselves and not the secretary general of nato. i am confident that the 5000 additional troops i talked about a few weeks ago has been an important part of the continuing mission that these 5000 -- these 5000 troops will be obtained as part of the pledge made by other
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countries. >> will the prime minister say what steps he will take to afghanistan whose forces are confined to and non-combat role to change their policies and be willing to share that, that burden of our own forces? >> there is some countries that do not purchase a paid in the military activity, fighting in afghanistan and do other work. i think it is important to recognize that we need the help of all countries. where countries are willing to financial or of any equipment helicopters. he is exactly right. we want people to share the fighting on the front line. i agree with him that we would like more countries to contribute with military forces prepared to go to the front
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line. >> thank you, mr. deputy speaker. my right arm old friend knows sacrifice well. we are burying another man this week. the second battalion reaching the rifles, he wrote, we are making a difference in afghanistan. my friends did not die for nothing. 14 of these comrades did die in the last tour. the british army has the best equipment in the world. support -- able to read out a letter from serving member of our forces and i pay tribute to his work on behalf of the country and all those people who -- from plymouth who serve in our armed forces. it is important to recognize the advances in equipment made in recent years sure it is important to recognize we have had to change our tactics -- it
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is important to recognize we because of the tactics of the taliban. we are proud of everything our forces do. >> i thank the prime minister for the detail in his statement and say i generally hope the conditions he has set out will be met. however, he has quoted is saying that what we need out is a political push. -- what we need now is a political push. given the united states are engaged in an exhaustive review of strategy, would have not made more sense that the statement of our strategy and our allies political commitments, before the statement on deployment we receive to date? >> i hope and making out the statement i made that he will forward the strategy that we i have tried since december, 2007, when i said this strategy must be one of giving afghan
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own affair and progressively police, and local government, that that is a consistent strategy we have tried to pursue adopt. i think it is important that we allow the deployment of troops to happen as quickly as possible now that decisions have been made across the alliance. it is right that side is -- side-by-side with the statement of why we are there that i did announce the figures for troop numbers. as i said, these troops will be deployed within the next few weeks to afghanistan. it is important now that we can signal that that way ahead can start. i think he is wrong to suggest we should have waited longer. it is right to move ahead now. >> canadians are withdrawing combat forces from kandahar. it is right next door to helmand. has my friend spoken to the
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conservative prime minister of canada to ask him to reconsider, and what did he say? >> i did speak to mr. harper at the commonwealth conference, and we had a discussion with other countries, including australia who are involved in afghanistan, and new zealand to are also it is my view, that in kandahar and then helmand there will be a greater number of troops next year than there are this year. while some countries that make difficult decisions that they themselves have responsibility to take, overall, the numbers of troops in those provinces will rise. . .
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it is the biggest threat to our general mcchrystal and taken to the provinces there? >> i am grateful to my honorable friend to for what he says. it is essential that we corrupt administration in afghanistan.
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we need to make sure where money administration for spending within afghan administration, there is an afghan reconstruction fund and we try to make sure that moneys are going for the purposes that they are intended for it is more general point about the coordination of military and civilian work is an important one. we need to look at that as a part of the agenda of the london conference. we try to bring together the military and civilian work and a more coordinated way and that we have people in charge of humanitarian and development work in afghanistan on a basis. what he says will definitely be taken into account as we look at what we can achieve as part of the london conference. i am pleased to note that member here with us.
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i want this whole house to thank them for everything that they do in the service of this country. >> mr. deputy speaker, having campaigned of the last four years for more protected increased numbers of them being delivered to a theater. is the prime minister confident that the extra troops being sent to afghanistan will not have the opposite at that to that which is intended, and that is to a exacerbate the situation? this has happened in the past, and could this not be history repeating itself? >> note, mr. speaker, i do not believe so. a change in tactics by the taliban. they are acting -- fighting effectively a guerrilla war. by having a properly protected vehicles, by the surveillance that we're doing of itt's, and
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by the intelligence that is backing up the military work done by our troops in the field, i believe that we are doing the right thing, and that the necessary nerds in numbers in those parts of afghanistan which have been subject to the greatest violence will also be complemented by a political strategy, increasingly ill will be afghan forces that hold the ground, and far from being seen by an occupying force, by partnering with the afghan forces, we will enable them to take responsibility for their country. >> does the prime minister accept that there is a different analysis that can be put on and the demands of other countries, that looks more and more like a colonial occupation and that all the demands placed in afghanistan, is this not going to increase opposition to that, increased opposition in
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pakistan, and in neighboring countries, making the situation worse? the british troops may be there another eight years? >> how is it that the afghan taliban, which are responsible for the denial of human rights particularly to women, has gotten the political support of the political of afghanistan or it does not? all the recent evidence that we have seen is that only a small afghanistan support the taliban, include people who are paid for their work and have no ideological commitment to which in some reason -- in some part, they can be detached by an effective afghan government and reconciliation. if you start from the position of mass of support, he may reach
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the conclusion that it is a mistake to work with the elected afghan government and the afghan but i stand on the proposition that they have limited support in afghanistan. in afghanistan. @@@@@@@@@ @ @ @ >bn# >> all our nato allies will commit more troops to afghanistan. does the prime minister understand that it is disappointing and disturbing that he is forced to be so quick and not reveal any of these extra troops to the country? >> mr. speaker, i think he is laboring at this point. i have announced that eight countries have already agreed with the secretary general of nato that they will provide troops that are additional to the ones they have in afghanistan.
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figures for the doubling of numbers of non-british, non- american troops of the last two years and more, the show that the international coalition is made up not just of britain and america but a vast range of coalition forces. i think that we should wait and see what the announcements are by other countries before we rush to the conclusion that he has rushed to. >> we are less than six months our troops deserve to hear this house speak with one voice. will you bring in any opposition leaders to determine strategy for afghanistan to make sure that it will not become a political football? >> the messages going out to the country that despite our supportive of the efforts that
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our troops are making in afghanistan, agreed that i strategy is one where afghanistan takes more responsibility for it's a fair, and that we must work with pakistan as well as afghanistan to deal with the terrorist threat in that region, and agreed that while it is a financial commitment that a strenuous, is right to support our troops and our forces in the way that we are doing. >> even after the fight over additional troops, allied forces including afghans does not exceed the 27500 troops we had and northern ireland. during that helmand pross cents -- given that helmand province is four times the size of -- what is the prime minister troops will make a difference? >> this is to build up afghan forces so that they can take
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more responsibility for their country. that although there are 90,000 be 135,000 by next year. it is our strategy to train at these afghan forces so that they buy their professional ability and hold the ground as well as take ground in afghanistan over time. and that is our strategy, not to rely exclusively on allied forces but to have allied forces working with the afghan army and with a corrupt-3 afghan peace. so he has misunderstood the strategy if he puts it the way he is doing. >> should he set out his strategy and a fully detailed of this year? and that the white paper should be debated on the floor of this house on a commendable motion before the 20th of january?
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in april, if i remember the date rightly, the proposals that we afghanxzaton strategy. house want to debate these things in more detail. it is right that we should do so. but i had understood -- perhaps i had been misled -- i had understood that the opposition supports our strategy. >> could i reinforced my comments of my colleague about the role of the forces in afghanistan? there was consistent criticism by british and u.s. forces when we visited in april that nato allies on a nato mission were not playing their full role. will the prime minister assure the house that the new troops going to afghanistan from nato and other countries will be joined by -- governed by cabinets -- caveats?
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>> he is right to expect other countries to do more. but over the last few weeks, we have been trying to persuade other nato allies, and indeed allies outside nato, to do more so. but we have to appreciate that we have to build up the afghan forces just as pakistan has got to have a more professional approach to dealing with terrorism. that is where the answer to the problems lie in both pakistan and afghanistan. we won the afghan people themselves to take more responsibility for the run affairs. >> the helicopters -- is the considering purchasing new ones? dollars in any statements on helicopters, they will be made to the house. >> mark lancaster. >> mid that will have to cover
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the territory army. now that he has seen the error of his ways, can he reassure the house that there will be no cuts to the territorial army budget next year? >> became clear in the last few days the value we attach the territorial army by the decisions about money that we made. i hope that he will also consider that the priority at the moment is for the effort in afghanistan, and to direct our resources to afghanistan means also that we finance the territorial army for what we can do in afghanistan as well. i think that it's a decision that we have made. opposition might be more -- and i'm grateful for the fact that he has served and for all people who have served in the territorial army, but it is important said -- it is important to recognize that our resources have got to be prioritized toward what we're
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doing in afghanistan. territory does the british army control, and how much more can we win with the without the help of the afghan allies? >> he is putting this in the context of territory. i would prefer to put it in the context of people, people working with us in the main centers. our strategy is to work with the people in the villages in the town, particularly in the towns, to make sure that they feel responsibility, with a police force more intense with the needs of the people, and that is the strategy that we want to pursue. >> the prime minister stated that are 90,000 trained afghan troops, but the leader of the opposition pointed out that just
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actually in helmand province. 50% of the activities take place there. should more trained afghan troops be sent there? it will take two years to train the new recruits. could he call president karzai and get more afghan troops to the helmand province now? the lawyers there are 10,000 troops to be trained in not 5000. half of these will be trained by americans. some of these troops that will come to helmand will already have been trained and they will be a bit there for partnership. some will be coming there to be trained from the beginning. the commitment that i had from president karzai is that he now sees that moment is a priority, that troops will be dispatched there from the rest of the country to helmand, where a great deal of the violence is. it is in recognition of that that i have made the announcements i have made to date. >> the statement of the prime
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minister mentioned yemen, with the yemeni groups forming the working in afghanistan and pakistan. will they continue to work with the government of yemen to make sure that it does not become a be a lot -- and that they will be invited to the london conference? >> he is absolutely right to point to the terrorist threats we see in different parts of the world. it is absolutely true that have sometimes been trained in pakistan and they are people that we have had to pursue. it is also right that somalia has become a major center for the development of terrorist activity and that some of these groups are targeting britain. but i have to repeat that the global terrorism remains pakistan and the pakistan-afghan
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border. to take on the terrorist threat pakistan and afghanistan, and the efforts that we put there in military strategy are the most important things that we can do. we would not to collect the differences -- the dangers and yemen and somalia. important center of global terrorism remains the one we have been talking about today. >> the prime minister always mentions the sacrifice made by our our soldiers. but repeating the political mistakes of a generation ago, talking about the vietnam and the decision being taken that we had to withdraw, but it came no closer to an outcome that could not be one. >> i think he ought to look at what the evidence is for the support of the taliban in
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afghanistan. his assumption is that somehow the insurgency has massive popular support and that the vast been jarred the of the population would go with that insurgency if they had the choice. i do not think that reflects the situation in afghanistan. a poll was done recently that said that only 8% of the population of a canister and supported it in any way the taliban and the insurgency. i believe most wants security and safety. i believe that they will support the partnering of british and coalition forces with afghan forces and i believe that we have the ability to work with the afghan people to defeat this insurgency. i also believe that there many people associate -- associated with the insurgency who do not share with the extremist ideology of the taliban or al qaeda, and they wish to join the ordinary political process and renounce violence. >> why has it taken the prime
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minister so long to make up his mind to send these extra troops? commanders on the field had been asking for extra troops for least a year. why the delay? >> last year we had 8000 troops in afghanistan appeared at the moment we have over 9000 troops in afghanistan. so the idea that we've not increased our forces are the last year to response -- in response to events is completely wrong. as far as the five under additional troops that we agreed to send today, and it was right to be met. partly because the public needed to be assured that everything possible had been done to make possible, partly because we had to assure ourselves that other the effort, and partly because we needed the afghans themselves after the election period to commit to providing the forces that are necessary for training. if our strategy is to work, we
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need the afghan forces to be trained by british forces and by coalition forces. that is why it was important to get the assurances and indeed the practical announcements from president karzai about the designation of troops to helmand. i believe that putting conditions on the additional 500 do. i think it is absolutely wrong to say that we have not added of the last year. let us debate our differences ss medicare for the future, and that's what's going to be is co. >> the senate has started the debate on the health bill and harry reid has warned senators to expect weekend and evening sessions. follow the entire debate on c- span 2. to read the senate bill and the house version and see video-on-
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demand, go to the health care hub. >> the senate cavils back can at 10:00 a.m.. watch lot senate coverage on c- span 2. >> a look at this morning's headlines and for calls are live, next on "washington journal." at 10:15, a live hearing on pilot fatigue and the house is in for legislative business at 2:00 p.m., eastern. and we will hear more a


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