Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:59 pm on 27th November 2014.

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Photo of Gerald Howarth Gerald Howarth Conservative, Aldershot 12:59 pm, 27th November 2014

I entirely endorse the remarks of my right hon. Friend Alistair Burt about the seriousness and importance of the enduring commitment to which the Secretary of State has referred. Last year, the then Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral Jim Stavridis, asked me to impress upon the British Government the importance of maintaining a continuing military contribution more in line with that of the Germans, who are committing about 1,000 troops. Given what has happened in Iraq and the catastrophic consequences of the reversal of the United States’ plan to leave 10,000 troops there—they were withdrawn because of Maliki’s failure to offer a status of forces agreement—will my right hon. Friend keep under review the British military contribution in Afghanistan? Many of those who have been bereaved will feel that their sons and daughters will have died in vain if we do not secure enduring peace in that country. That is a tall order, but I believe that it would be valuable if the Secretary of State could keep the British military contribution under review to ensure that what happened in Iraq does not happen in Afghanistan.