Dad backs John Redwood's call to withdraw troops from AfghanistanBy Jonathan Low
September 19, 2012
The father of a fallen soldier has echoed the calls of Wokingham MP John Redwood to bring back British troops from Afghanistan.
Alun Hicks, whose son David was killed in Helmand province in 2007, said: “There’s not a lot more that can be done.
“I think there’s a lot of truth in Mr Redwood’s comments.
“The Afghans have had plenty of chances to choose whether they want to follow a western democratic system or a Taliban one.
“So we can’t go on forever.”
Captain David Hicks, 26, was fatally wounded on August 11, 2007.
He refused morphine so he could carry on leading his troop, and was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for service with his regiment, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, in March 2008.
On Monday, John Redwood MP told the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and the House of Commons he felt the Government should bring British forces home in time for Christmas.
He said those deployed should be brought home following a rise in the number of attacks by Afghans on British and American forces.
Mr Redwood said: “I think we’ve done enough there.
“We have been training forces over many years and they’ve passed on a lot of knowledge to the Afghans.
“We’ve done a difficult job in difficult circumstances.
“I feel we’ve done we all we can and we should leave with our heads held high.”
Alun Hicks, of Tintagel Road, Finchampstead, added: “We could save a huge amount of money by withdrawing from Afghanistan, something like £4 billion.
“That could be used for increasing security on the streets of Britain.”
Mr Redwood’s call comes as America is leading an initiative to conduct a review of US and Nato troops in the country, following a rise in the number of so-called ‘green-on-blue’ attacks by Afghans.
The decision follows a number of high-profile incidents which have seen the deaths of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) soldiers and violent protests by Muslims around the world over an amateur, American-made film degrading Islam.
Speaking in the Parliament Mr Hammond said: “We have a legacy in Afghanistan that has been won at a great cost: 430 British service personnel have given their lives and we intend to protect that legacy by ensuring the UK’s national security interests are protected in the future by training and mentoring the Afghan National Security Forces to take over the role we are currently playing.
“We are withdrawing quite quickly from the combat role, but we have a job to do and we will carry on doing it.”