§ Mr. Sarwar
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action the Department is taking to improve the security situation in Afghanistan. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The UK is making a major contribution to improving the security situation in Afghanistan. The transfer of control of our Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Mazar-e Sharif and Meymanek together with associated support forces, was a major step in implementing the first stage of ISAF's expansion across Afghanistan; a process we see as playing a vital role in helping the Afghans create a secure and stable country. Together with our forces in Kabul, we now contribute around 580 personnel to the ISAF, and are also engaged in providing wider support to security sector reform in Afghanistan. Looking ahead, and as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced to the House on 30 June, we have offered to deploy the Headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps to lead ISAF in 2006. This is the clearest possible evidence of our commitment to ISAF and to Afghanistan.
§ Mr. Hoon
Of the 580 United Kingdom personnel serving with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, 340 are deployed to Kabul where they are assisting the Afghan Transitional Authority to maintain security. The remainder are serving in the UK-led multinational Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Mazar-e Sharif and Meymaneh, and the associated Forward Support Base, in Northern Afghanistan.