DEFENCE – COUNTER-INSURGENCY & DETAINEE HANDLING – 8 September 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: Both Front Benchers and Back Benchers who have spoken so far have all quite rightly concentrated on the ethical dimension of this terrible case, but is the Secretary of State satisfied that the significance of abuses of this sort to counter-insurgency campaigning and the way in which they play into the hands of our enemies is sufficiently stressed by the heads of the armed services to the people on the front line?

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Liam Fox): I am, and it is an essential part of counter-insurgency – and successful counter-insurgency – that we are seen to protect the population concerned. The improvements made to training, to facilities, to detainee handling and, indeed, to the current training of the Afghan forces on how to do the same will ensure that, although we can never remove the risk of such incidents happening, we can certainly minimise that risk.]