Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Iraq War: Strategic Communications Networks

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:43 pm on 19th January 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Bach Lord Bach Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Procurement) 2:43 pm, 19th January 2004

My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, about the importance of strategic communications in a conflict such as this. It is important to realise what the NAO said, which was that,

"the majority of communications equipment worked well on the operation, although the force sometimes had difficulty maintaining strategic communications between United Kingdom and units in theatre".

There was a difference between the Gulf conflict of 1991 and last year's conflict. The total information exchange requirement was increased by a factor of at least eight. It is not surprising that things did not go perfectly, but I repeat that, on balance, they went entirely satisfactorily and I can confirm that there will be a position in the Permanent Joint Headquarters that will be responsible for dealing with the issue of strategic communications.