DEFENCE – IRAQ REDEPLOYMENT – 21 October 2004

Dr Julian Lewis: I think the Secretary of State is beginning to understand the meaning of friendly fire. We welcome the assurance given by the right hon. Gentleman earlier this week and again today that British troops deployed in this relatively more dangerous area would be under the control of British senior officers, and would be able to apply the advanced counter-insurgency techniques in which they are so proficient. If, as a result, their methods prove superior to those previously applied by American forces, what steps will he take to ensure feedback to our American allies, so that they can benefit from the experiences of our troops?

[Geoff Hoon: I assure the hon. Gentleman that there is a close exchange of both information and technical operation between the United States and the United Kingdom. If the hon. Gentleman considers the way in which US forces, for example, are deployed and operate further north than the so-called Sunni triangle, he will note that they operate in a very similar way to British forces in the south.]