Conservative Diary

« Party membership has fallen by "almost a quarter" under David Cameron's leadership | Main | Compassionate conservatism is getting stronger and deeper by the day »

David Cameron emphasises that British troops are fighting a "necessary war" in Afghanistan to stop terrorism at home

Cameron-and-troops This morning on ConservativeHome, David Davis calls for more British troops to be sent to Afghanistan, but warns that if progress is not made within the next eighteen months, then the British public will demand our withdrawal.

Right on cue, David Cameron has this morning covered the issue in his weekly email to party activists also reproduced on the Blue Blog, stating that the simple reason for British troops being in Afghanistan is to stop terrorism at home:

"We need to make it clear to the British people why we're in Afghanistan. It's simple - to stop terrorism here in Britain. We must help the Afghans to stop their country from once again hosting the world's most dangerous terrorists. So we need to train and equip the Afghan army to root out terrorists, and to support them until they can do this for themselves.

"We must make sure our soldiers have the tools they need - more counter-IED capability, more helicopters, more surveillance drones, more heavily armoured vehicles, and more transport aircraft. We must support their families here in Britain, and give every assistance to the injured.

"And to do all these things we need one thing more than anything else - leadership. That's something that's been desperately lacking. We've had four defence secretaries in as many years; the last one was part-time and the current one ranks 21st out of 23 in the Cabinet. That's not a great starting point when we're fighting a conflict thousands of miles away. This is a new kind of war, it's a necessary war, and we need strong leadership and relentless focus to explain that to people in Britain.

"The lessons of 1939 show that Britain can turn things around in war. Six years of effort later, we won the war. I'm confident we can see success in Afghanistan. I've been out there and seen what a tremendous job our servicemen and women do. It's time they got the right kind of support from the Government at home."

Fraser Nelson also makes an impassioned defence of our role in Afghanistan in today's News of the World.

Jonathan Isaby


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.