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 Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence 12:59 pm, 27th November 2014

I hope the House will agree that I have not been triumphalist about the campaign. I believe the campaign we fought, for which so many sacrificed their lives, was certainly worth while, but I am not triumphalist about it in the least. Afghanistan remains a relatively poor country and a place in which there is still great danger, as we have learned from this morning’s events. I hope the hon. Gentleman would acknowledge that Afghanistan is a more prosperous and safer place than it was 12 or 13 years ago, and that women have a better prospect now of fuller participation in civic life than they did 10 or 13 years ago. I have noted that the drugs trade remains an increasing and enduring challenge to the current Afghan Government, and, indeed, to the international community. He is right to say that we should not be triumphalist about this campaign, but, equally, he should recognise some of the progress that has been made.