Sunday, January 4, 2009

We will stand tall - Times Online

Michael Portillo need not worry about Britain’s commitment to stay the course in the conflicts of today and tomorrow. We have made clear we cannot allow the Afghanistan government to fail and the country to become once again a haven for Al-Qaeda to launch attacks on the civilised world. The UK’s national security demands that we see this through and we will.

The Iraqi army, thanks to our help and that of the US, can now stand on its own two feet in Basra. This did not happen overnight. It took time and a lot of British help. That time was bought with the commitment and sacrifice of our forces.

The defeat of the militias in Basra in March was an Iraqi triumph - made possible by the British forces who trained them and provided air, medical, logistical, artillery and other vital support during the operation. Our forces have never “withdrawn to barracks”. Barely a day has gone by over the past 15 months when they have not been out on the ground supporting the Iraqis.

American administrations past and present have found us a valuable and reliable ally. I am confident that this will continue to be the case in the future.

John Hutton
MP Secretary of State
Ministry of Defence

For the full piece online click here for the Times online

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