» Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Put that Sir General Dannatt had said in an interview that the Prime Minister had rejected a troop increase on the basis that it was too expensive and was that something the Government would recognise, the Prime Minister s Spokesman (PMS) said that we had covered this point yesterday. The facts were that there were 7800 troops in Afghanistan in the summer of 2007; there were now over 9000. Reserve funding had increased from 700million to over 3billion this year.

Any suggestion that the Prime Minister had been unwilling to deploy more troops or provide the necessary resources was simply wrong. Clearly, there would be decisions to be made in the future about troop numbers and there was a process behind that.

Put that there had been some suggestion of an announcement tomorrow, the PMS replied that there was a meeting of NSID tomorrow. The committee had met regularly over the summer. We wouldn t be going into details in terms of the agenda, but one of the things it would be looking at was how the mission in Afghanistan was properly resourced.

The Prime Minister had made it clear that whilst he was open-minded on troop numbers, there would be a number of aspects to any decision on them. These included sign off by the NSID committee, discussions with allies and a number of conditions that had been talked about previously, including having the necessary equipment, the right strategy, which was based around Afghanisation and issues surrounding a new Afghan government if that was the case.

Asked if the Prime Minister would respond to complaints made by RAF personnel that vehicles being used were not adequate for protecting the British military, the PMS said that the Prime Minister was completely committed to ensuring that the troops on the ground were properly resourced. The PMS said he would not comment on any specific issues.

Put that members of all the armed forces seemed to be suggesting that the army was not adequately equipped, the PMS said that meetings such as the NSID committee involved all parties; this included not just the Government, but Chiefs of Staff as well. Decisions that were made were made collectively. It was very important that we had the right resources and the right troop numbers going forward and the PMS added that he had laid out the decision-making process clearly.

Put that General Sir Richard Dannatt had said that there were two options in terms of troop numbers; to wait for the announcement from President Obama or look at the issue on its own merits and take the lead, the PMS said that any decisions on future troop numbers would need to be signed off by the Government and there would also need to be discussions between the allies. It was premature to speculate on how that would happen in process terms.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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