Afghanistan: Peace Keeping Operations
Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role his Department foresees for UK defence equipment manufacturers in the implementation of the planned expenditure of (a) NATO and (b) US funds designated for the purchase and provision of (i) military equipment and (ii) training packages for the Afghan National Security Forces after 2014.
Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
Work that will determine the future size and shape of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is ongoing. In tandem, detailed planning is under way that will set out how the forces will be funded beyond 2014. Consequently it is too early to give an assessment of the prospective role that UK defence manufacturers may have in equipping and training the ANSF beyond this date.
The ANSF are on target to reach their maximum “surge” size of 352,000 by November 2012, and are being equipped to support that number. Beyond 2014 the focus will be on sustainment and NATO is giving increasing emphasis to the enabling functions necessary to ensure the self sufficiency of the forces as they get ready to take full responsibility for security across the country.
The commissioning of equipment for the ANSF after 2014 will be a decision for the Afghans themselves, though we hope that there will always be a place for UK industry to apply to support them.