§ 7. Mr. Goodman
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how long British troops are planned to remain in Afghanistan. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The International Security Assistance Force has made an enormous contribution to the stability of Afghanistan. We will transfer leadership of the ISAF to Turkey later this week, after which there will be a reduced but substantial British contribution.
The task force based around 45 Commando has been engaged in difficult operations that have successfully denied al-Qaeda and Taliban freedom of action during what is a critical period for the future of Afghanistan as the Loya Jirga has been meeting. I have previously told the House that the Royal Marines would be deployed for about three months and I expect the deployment to conform to this timetable.
Hon. Members will be aware that the Loya Jirga is drawing to a close in Kabul. In the light of this, and following final discussions with Turkey and other 33W coalition partners, I hope to make a fuller statement to the House on the future of our forces in Afghanistan later this week.
§ 24. Mr. Tom Harris
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the international security assistance force has helped with humanitarian aid missions in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hoon
As I said in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) earlier, at column 18 today, the primary role of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is to help the Interim Administration maintain security in Kabul and its surrounding areas. However, national contingents within the ISAF have been involved in a number of humanitarian projects. United Kingdom service personnel, in conjunction with the Department for International Development, have contributed to the rebuilding of Kabul' s education system through helping with repairs to its schools. The ISAF has also on occasion responded to critical emergencies to help save lives. There has been no expansion in ISAF's mission as defined in the authorising United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
§ 27. Huw Irranca-Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role and effectiveness of British troops deployed in Afghanistan. 
§ 33. Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on recent deployments of British forces in Afghanistan. 
§ 35. Paul Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the situation in Afghanistan. 
§ Mr. Wilkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of British military operations in Afghanistan. 
§ Mr. Hoon
British military operations in Afghanistan have involved both warfighting and security assistance tasks. The task force based around 45 Commando Royal Marines has performed valuable work in denying remaining al-Qaeda and Taliban elements opportunities to regroup and commit terrorist attacks, especially around the time of the vital Loya Jirga process. British forces in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have also played a valuable role in helping the Afghan Interim Administration maintain security in Kabul. As I have already said in my answer to the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman), at column 33W today, I hope to make a fuller statement to the House on our forces in Afghanistan later this week.
§ 38. David Wright
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of the international security assistance force in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The International Security Assistance Force has helped the Afghan Interim Administration transform the security situation in Kabul, allowing a shattered city to become a functioning political and commercial centre.
The United Kingdom's leadership of ISAF, ably exercised by Major General McColl, has been praised throughout the international community. I am confident that the ISAF will continue to make a positive impact under Turkish leadership.