Jim Murphy MP, Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to Lt Gen James Bucknall's warning today on an early exit from Afghanistan, said:
“These decisions should always be based on the best possible military advice and it is worrying if the Prime Minister is overlooking the concerns of senior military figures. This rift will not be reassuring for those fighting on the frontline or their families back home.
“People will want guarantees that a faster than expected draw-down will not harm our capability to carry out our strategic aims. Any decision to begin withdrawal must be based on making Afghanistan more stable to make Britain more secure.
"We all want to see British troops come home at the earliest opportunity and we support the Government’s timetable to complete withdrawal of combat troops by the end of 2014. It is important, however, that the Government is clear on the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan and the impact this will have on those fighting on the frontline."