Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, commenting on the Defence Select Committee report on Afghanistan today, said:
“This is a stark and serious warning. Significant progress has been made but it is not irreversible.
“Concerns over Afghan military capabilities after coalition forces’ withdrawal need to be answered. It is absolutely vital Afghans lead on delivering lasting security but people will want confidence in Afghan capabilities and clarity as to the long-term nature of the UK’s defence commitment. Labour has consistently warned against a lack of post-2014 planning, as do the Committee.
“Social and political progress must match military might. A political settlement within Afghanistan and beyond its borders with regional partners is essential to delivering lasting peace and the UK Government must demonstrate greater progress in this area.
“The pace of withdrawal and our residual presence, building Afghan Forces and, most importantly, facilitating political reconciliation demand progress but remain characterised by uncertainty. Ministers should spell out UK plans with greater clarity.”