Third memorandum from the Ministry of
Proposals put forward by the Senlis Council
1. As promised by Peter Holland, a copy
of the 2001 report by David Mansfield (consultant), "An Analysis
of Licit Opium Poppy Cultivation: India and Turkey" is attached.
Will Reservists be deployed in Afghanistan? If
so: how many, in which specialisms?
2. As announced by the Secretary of State
on 26 January, the UK deployment to Afghanistan will comprise
primarily regular troops. There will, however, be a small number
of reservists, initially numbering up to around 100, drawn primarily
from the Royal Rifle Volunteers (RRV) and 4th Battalion Parachute
Regiment (4 PARA). A platoon from the RRV will undertake force
protection tasks in Kabul, and officers and soldiers from 4 PARA
will provide individual augmentation to the 3rd Battalion Parachute
Regiment (3 PARA) as part of the UK Task Force. In addition there
will be a number of logistics and medical personnel deployed with
the UK Task Force, as well as a small number based at the ARRC
and UK HQs in Kabul and Lashkah Gar.
What is MoD's assessment of the capability of
the Afghan judicial system to dispense justice to any detainees
handed over by ISAF forces?
3. Establishing the rule of law in any post-conflict
situation presents a number of significant challenges. After 25
years of civil war and years of misrule by the Taliban regime,
there were few recognisable elements of a rule of law process
in place in Afghanistan. Progress since the conflict in 2001 has
been slow, and Afghanistan's judicial sector capacity remains
low. While some 60,000 police have now been trained and deployed,
the necessary associated institutional reform of central ministries,
and judicial reform more broadly, has failed to keep pace.
4. Efforts to resolve this are however underway.
Italy continues to lead and co-ordinate international assistance
in support of the Afghan Government's efforts, which, in 2005,
coalesced around the Afghan Government's "Justice For All"
strategy, and in 2006 the strong message in the Afghanistan Compact
(launched at the London Conference on 31 January-1 February 2006)
on the need for equal, fair and transparent access to justice
for all. A UN Development Programme designed to support implementation
of the "Justice for All" strategy has now been circulated
to the international community, and the UK has agreed to provide
$500,000 of seed funding to enable it to begin. This extensive
programme seeks to accelerate the pace of judicial sector reform
by: pursuing institutional reform of key central bodies such as
the Ministry of Justice and Supreme Court; and seeking to improve
the Afghan population's access to justice by developing the key
infrastructure such as courthouses and prisons. Other initiatives,
such as the Counter-Narcotics Criminal Justice Force, have seen
progress with a number of successful prosecutions already made.
5. The UK is considering the capability
of the Afghan authorities to receive and process any individuals
handed over, including by making an assessment of local facilities,
and based on the results of a recently concluded ICRC study of
Afghan prison facilities. We are currently seeking to conclude
a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Afghanistan
that will stipulate not only UK expectations of the conditions
in which the individuals will be held, but also that they will
be subject to the due process of law. This matter is also being
considered by NATO, in an attempt to develop a framework in which
all ISAF forces can operate. The fundamental approach to detention
remains that this should be Afghan-led, conducted by Afghan authorities,
thereby avoiding the need for UK forces to detain individuals.
What pre-deployment training has been given to
familiarise UK soldiers with the culture and conditions they will
be experience in Afghanistan?
6. PJHQ and the three Front Line Commands
conduct extensive training for all troops prior to deployment,
designed to acclimatise them to the conditions and to hone their
skills with procedures and equipment. Personnel deploying to Afghanistan
have undergone training in various parts of the UK, which was
designed to practise the infantry and vehicle skills required
for the full spectrum of likely operations (Operation HERRICK
8. UK troops deploying also receive a mandatory
pre-deployment training package which includes cultural awareness
and basic language skills presentations, with handouts distributed
to all personnel for easy reference. In addition, unit level training
includes testing soldiers' ability to operate in replica theatre
conditions, with Afghan nationals playing the role of the civilian
population and interpreters. Additional higher level training
was also delivered for commanders, including a presentation from
Dr Sookhdeo (Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam
and Christianity), a two day theatre Immersion package designed
to promote a better understanding of the Afghan theatre, and a
joint Inter Agency Multinational Training Day aiming to create
an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of agencies
operating in theatre. Underlying all these activities is a realisation
that Afghanistan is a complex environment, that the consent of
the people is a key factor and that this depends on our troops
having an understanding of the Afghan people.
Your memorandum of 14 February states that "the
UK plans to direct substantial funds to the Helmand province".
How much is "substantial"? What measurable outcomes
is the UK seeking to achieve as a result of this spending?
9. The UK intends to disburse £38 million
in the first year of full activity in Helmand. These funds will
support activities in the fields of governance, economic and social
development, security sector reform and counter-narcotics. The
UK outline plan for its three-year deployment in Helmand contains
benchmarks, milestones and foreseen outputs and outcomes, designed
to build capacity of key provincial institutions, central line
ministry representation, and thereby extend the reach of the central
10. At this initial stage of the deploymentthe
first wave of civilian staff arrived in the week beginning 20
Marchit is difficult to be precise about measurable outcomes,
but we would hope to see tangible improvements in, inter alia,
opportunities for legal rural livelihoods, the capacity of the
Provincial government, judicial system and security forces, and
in the Governor's counter narcotics campaign. One of the first
tasks of the civilians is to work with their military colleagues
to test the outline plan and design the programmes required to
Will UK Commanders have money available to fund
small-scale local projects?
11. Funds for small-scale local projects
will be available. But unlike in the US PRT model, these funds
will be allocated by the PRT leadership triumvirate of the military
commander, FCO political representative and DFID development adviser
rather than automatically available to the UK Commander. This
is due to the different approach taken by the UK to its PRTs.
While the military component will be responsible for overall security,
force protection and day-to-day operation of the PRT compound,
wider PRT leadership reflects the multi-disciplinary approach
of the UK, with a military, political and developmental triumvirate
collectively guiding the PRT's interaction with local institutions
and the local population.
12. The Lashkar Gah PRT will have access,
as do other HMG representatives in Afghanistan, to the funds available
in the Afghanistan Strategy of the Global Conflict Prevention
Pool, designed to support creative and innovative projects to
build long-term and sustainable capacity in security sector reform,
prevent conflict, and develop a better understanding of local
and regional power dynamics.
13. In addition, and recognising the need
for rapid support to be delivered to the local Afghan institutions,
the Lashkar Gah PRT will also have access to a Quick Impact Projects
fund, designed to demonstrate the UK's support to Helmand, through
short-term one-off projects or donations. Disbursement of the
funds will be agreed on a trilateral basis between the military,
FCO and DFID representatives, and overseen by the UK Regional
Co-ordinator based in Kandahar, who will bring a regional perspective
to this short-term activity.
16 March 2006
51 See An Analysis of Licit Opium Poppy Cultivation:
India and Turkey, by David Mansfield, Consultant, April 2001.
Not printed. Back
Not printed. Back