Afghanistan

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:13 pm on 14th November 2001.

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Photo of Lord Elton Lord Elton Conservative 4:13 pm, 14th November 2001

My Lords, the noble and learned Lord the Leader of the House, my noble friend Lord Strathclyde and the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Crosby, are all right to warn against premature euphoria. I remember that Napoleon thought that he had beaten the Russians when they evacuated Moscow. The Russians later defeated him because of his immensely extended lines of communication and a very severe winter. The difference in this case is the enormous lifting power of air forces.

Every time the Prime Minister has made a major pronouncement on these affairs, he has rightly drawn attention to the necessity to adjust the world order after these events in order to see that they do not recur. I heartily agree with that. But it is not necessary to await the end of the campaign which may continue for some time yet in Afghanistan in order to start planning the nature of that re-ordering and the means of achieving it. I wonder whether the Leader of the House can tell us what steps are being taken to make that preparation and to take Parliament into the deliberative stages of it?