Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to reports that service personnel may serve longer tours in Afghanistan, said:
“If this is driven by military advice rather than cost-cutting there may be merit in the Government’s move, but many will be concerned about the impact on the individuals affected and what this may signal for future military practice.
“Ministers must answer questions about the additional pressures on those who serve for longer, how they will be rewarded and the impact on service families. If this is a longer-term strategic shift the service community will demand a clear military justification.
“There are serious issues about the UK Armed Forces’ long-term commitment to Afghanistan and the role, size and scope of a residual force. Progress should become permanent in Afghanistan, but the country will want clarity on what this entails militarily for the UK.”