Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29th March 2010.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Secretary of State for Defence 2:30 pm, 29th March 2010

There has been a substantial increase in forces going into Helmand. Some of those have been ours-we have increased our forces in Afghanistan by about 1,200 in a year-but the biggest single inflow has been from the United States of America. We have been very happy to work alongside US forces, and they now operate in the south of Helmand province-we very recently handed over Musa Qala to them. What we are involved in is a coalition effort: we have to work alongside our coalition partners, and that does not mean just the United States of America. In Helmand we have Danes and Estonians working in our area of operation alongside our forces, as well as those of the Afghans of course, so I do not think that there is a problem among our armed forces in recognising the need to work with others.

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