Afghanistan Force Protection

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Does not this terrible tragedy reveal a central fault line in the Government’s strategy, the same one that was apparent in the Government whom I served—namely, the inability to engage beyond President Karzai’s Government to the wider fiefdoms at local and regional level, and to the Taliban themselves? Until that is done—until a political strategy is successfully pursued—our forces will continue to be attacked, killed and maimed in this fashion, and that cannot be right.

Mr Hammond: I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the long-term solution to the problem in Afghanistan must involve a political solution, and the pressure is very much on Afghan political leaders, and those in neighbouring countries, to bring that progress about. In the meantime, our task is to ensure that Afghan national security forces provide the security envelope within which any such political settlement can be deployed.