Those who doubt the clarity of purpose of the mission in Afghanistan should listen to the interview on Radio 4’s “Today” programme this morning with Captain Andrew Tiernan of the Grenadier Guards.  He is on leave and about to return to Afghanistan.   This is his thrid tour of duty and he is clear about the progress that has been made and the importance of the role that British troops are fulfilling.

At the beginning of the interview it was made clear that his appearance on the programme was not at the behest of the Ministery of Defence, but was a consequence of his expressing his frustration to his mother about the way in which the work that he and his colleagues are doing in Afghanistan is being portrayed in the news media.

He emphasised that talk about a pull-out is undermining the work that they are doing and demonstrates a failure to support the troops out there.

I hope his message is taken to heart by those in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties who are sniping at the clarity of the mission or are toying with calling for our troops to be pulled out as some sort of  pre-election stunt.

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