Statement on Military Action in Afghanistan

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Statement on Military Action in Afghanistan
Madame Speaker,

Following the passage of the United Nations resolution that the United Kingdom submitted, citing chapter 7 - a break in the international peace - we have begun participating in Operation Enduring Freedom. We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies with direct military action to defeat our common enemy - the Taliban and the act of terror in general. It was just 4 months ago that this group attacked innocent civilians going about their daily lives in both the United States and France. These events killed sixty Britons abroad and we must attain justice for these people. We continue to mourn with their families and the families of the thousands of people killed on this day. 

Whilst I can't go into mission specifics, Madame Speaker, I can confirm that a small contingent of ground troops have been deployed to the region, in addition to several naval and air assets. We are working closely with our allies in NATO to set objectives and how best we can defeat the Taliban and any other group who think they can use the tactics of terror in our nations. This action shows that we will not be beaten by terror and that we must deter and defend ourselves against terrorism.

Madame Speaker, we honour the services of our Armed Forces and their skills are talked about across the world. It is not easy for a leader of a country to have to take this sort of action - potentially putting the lives of soldiers, pilots, naval officers, sailors, mechanics, catering staff and other disciplines of the Armed Forces at risk - but I feel that we no longer have an option and we cannot sit back any longer. We are stronger united under the NATO coalition and that is exactly what we are doing. I will continue to update the House on any developments over the coming days and in the immediate future.
Rt. Hon. Callum Finch MP | Labour Party
Member of Parliament for Burton (1992-present)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Leader of the Labour Party

Secretary of State for Defence (2000-2001)
Government Chief Whip & Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (2000-2001)
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Madame Speaker,

I'd like to begin first by thanking the Prime Minister for coming out and giving this address instead of having one of his other ministers do it on his behalf. I would like to acknowledge that I cannot even begin to fathom the immense pressure that accompanies asking our brave men and women to risk their lives. But yet I still do have some concerns, beginning with the fact that there is really no plan here or goals aside from stamp out terrorism, and while that is a worthy goal indeed it is just the type of vague goal which could keep our troops in harms way for far longer then they need to be, or even not long enough, which is why I ask that soon the Prime Minister fill us in on the goals we hope to accomplish.

Another issue is that there is no plan for what happens once we have "defeated the terrorists", while we pull out and hope maybe a region very historically well known for terrorism and radicalism will magically become calmer because we were there for a brief period. And while I know it may seem premature to be thinking about post Operation Enduring Freedom, but if we don't begin to talk about our plans for when we leave now I fear we may never discuss them or leave.

And my final issue is the fact that there is no end date in mind for our troops. We are simple sending them out for an unannounced amount of time with no plans to ever bring them home, which is worrisome because no conflict in which a country has entered without some sort of an exit strategy never works well.

But again I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his bold leadership in this, and hope to be hearing an update about the situation as it develops.
Sean Kapur MP For Aldridge-Brownhills 1979-Present

Lawyer Strait and Kapur 1970-1979

Shadow Minister for Energy and the Environment 2002-Present
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