» Monday, December 14, 2009


The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) began by giving a rundown of the Prime Minster’s trip to Afghanistan. Asked if the Prime Minister would give 150million extra for unmanned aerial vehicles, the PMS said that the Prime Minister would be making a statement this afternoon. The Prime Minister had said that he wanted to see further investments in the kind of equipment that enabled us to identify IEDs and focus in on the latest technology.

Now that the principles of partnering and mentoring had been set up, we had to make sure we invested in the best technology. Asked if the new equipment would be more of the same or separate, the PMS said that people should wait for the detail in the Prime Minister’s statement as well as Bob Ainsworth’s statement on Tuesday.

Asked about the analysis centre the Prime Minister had mentioned, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had spoken about the importance of moving towards an Afghan intelligence operation. Put that there had been a rumour going round that a number of troops refused to shake the Prime Minister’s hand, the PMS said that that was completely untrue. The mood of the troops was very positive and they very much appreciated his visit. The Prime Minister took the opportunity to meet every single member of the armed forces that had been presented to him.

Put that there had been reports of cutbacks on defence spending, the PMS replied that he would not presage anything that Bob Ainsworth would be saying in his statement on defence equipment priorities.

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned by comments made by the new Bishop for the Armed Forces who had talked about how the Taliban should be admired for their religious convictions, the PMS said that he had not seen the exact comments. We were waging a campaign in Afghanistan which was not only focussed on keeping the streets of the UK safe from further terrorist attacks but also making sure we put in place a process of Afghanisation, which ensured that the country returned to being able to control its own destiny.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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