No party today questioned the vain-glorious but lethal national military ambition. Tragically, punching above our weight mean dying beyond our responsibilities
After debates in the Dutch and Canadian Parliaments, those countries withdrew their troops from Afghanistan after great sacrifices in blood and treasure. Should not we in this House answer public opinion, which is strongly in favour of bringing our troops home, adopt a policy of independence from the United States and ensure that our troops are no longer at risk in this increasingly dangerous war?
As the hon. Gentleman knows, there is a commitment to bring our troops home, and it has been put on the record. We are committed to making regular quarterly statements on Afghanistan, and when the next one is due he will have an opportunity to make his case, but the view of the House, as expressed in earlier debates, is that we should rightly honour our commitment, stay with our fellow countries in Afghanistan and give that country the opportunity to build up its police force and armed services so that it can restore law and order on its own.