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Liam Fox: How the Government is failing in its three responsibilities in Afghanistan


The Times reports this morning that Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox will deliver a speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies today in which he will set out the three main responsibilities that the Government has in Afghanistan:

  • clearly to define the strategy and the objectives;
  • to resource the campaign properly;
  • to maintain political resilience by taking the public into its confidence.

The paper reports that Dr Fox will accuse the Labour Government of failing on all three counts:

“The sooner we get the Afghan security forces trained and on the front line the faster we can bring our own troops home,” he will say. He will also suggest the forming of local “auxiliary forces” to help with security in Helmand.

Dr Fox will accuse the Government of failing to explain to the public what winning in Afghanistan will entail.

“Public dissent for the mission in Afghanistan exists in the UK because the Government has found it difficult to express what we mean by winning in Afghanistan,” he will say.

“Success in Afghanistan will be achieved when we have a stable-enough Afghanistan, able to manage its own internal and external security to a degree that stops interference from outside powers and allow the country to resist the establishment of terror bases and the training camps that were there before.”

> Dr Fox wrote exclusively for ConservativeHome earlier in the month about how Afghanistan would be the "top military priority" of a Conservative government.

Jonathan Isaby


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