John Baron MP presses Defence Secretary to over joint on-the-ground operations in Afghanistan

September 20, 2012

MP highlights Taliban account for just one quarter of ‘green-on-blue’ attacks

 Further to his Urgent Question in Parliament on Tuesday, John Baron MP has sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Defence calling on him to re-examine the case for joint on-the-ground operations between British troops and Afghan forces in light of the recent decision by ISAF to temporarily curtail such operations. As the Secretary of State stated in the House of Commons, British troops will continue to conduct joint on-the-ground operations, potentially exposing them to greater risk than their ISAF counterparts.

The letter also asked what is being done to uncover the motivations behind the ‘green-on-blue’ attacks, given that evidence has emerged that three-quarters of the assailants have no links with the Taliban.

John said,

“Given the American decision to step back from joint operations, the Defence Secretary must now carefully consider whether the continuation of British joint operations is putting our soldiers’ lives unnecessarily at risk. Although we place greater emphasis on the importance on these joint on-the-ground operations, it does appear that British troops have suffered disproportionally from these ‘green-on-blue’ attacks.”

“The possibility must be examined that the American decision will expose British soldiers to a greater degree of risk, especially if our troops are the only ISAF soldiers continuing with this policy.”

“Furthermore, we need to acknowledge that three-quarters of ‘green-on-blue’ attacks are carried out by individuals with no connexion with the Taliban. More work needs to be done as to what motivates these Afghan soldiers to take up arms against our troops, and what can be done to mitigate the risk.”

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