Asked whether the UK Government was consulted on the NATO decision to change the manner of joint operations with Afghan forces, the PMS said that there had been a number of attacks in recent weeks including the attack on Camp Bastion. We kept our procedures under review and took the safety of our armed forces very seriously. Commanders on the ground judged it necessary to tighten up the procedures, but the changes would not have a significant impact on the role of UK forces or their operations. Operational procedures had been looked at over recent days and weeks and were discussed with the Defence Secretary last week.
Asked whether the UK still trusted its allies in the Afghan forces, the PMS said that we worked very closely with the Afghan forces on a daily basis. In the light of recent events it was obviously sensible to look at procedures and deem whether they were the right ones.
Asked whether there was any discussion of troop drawdown at Cabinet, the PMS said there was not. Combat operations would end by the end of 2014 and there was no change to the position.
Asked whether ISAF forces would hand security responsibility over to Afghan forces in 2014 regardless of the situation, the PMS said that the current process was working. Afghan forces were increasingly taking over the security of the country. There had been a number of recent incidents, but that should not overshadow the progress made.
Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news
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