§ 9. Derek Twigg
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the current security situation in Afghanistan. 
§ Mr. Hoon
For three weeks, United States and British forces have been engaged in military action against Usama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban regime that shelters them in Afghanistan. The aims of the military action are clear: to destroy the terrorist camps; to pressure the Taliban regime to end its support for Usama bin Laden; and to create the right conditions for future operations in Afghanistan to maintain that pressure.
We have achieved the first and third of these objectives. The terrorist camps that were known to be in use at the start of military campaign have successfully been put out of action. The coalition has achieved air superiority at medium and high level.
We are also making good progress against the second objective. We are now focusing on Taliban forces in the field, weakening their ability to retain control of key points of Afghanistan.509W
§ 24. Mr. Robathan
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the implications of the military action in Afghanistan for future defence policy. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The Strategic Defence Review and the experience and lessons from subsequent operations such as those in Kosovo have left us well placed to take on and defeat international terrorism. We have significantly improved important military capabilities including reconnaissance: intelligence; surveillance; target acquisition; precision strike; rapid deployment; and command and control. But the attacks on the United States have shown that we must build on this success and go further.
With operations continuing, it would be premature to draw conclusions on the implications for our future defence policy. We are, however, carrying out further work to ensure that our concepts, force structures, and capabilities are exactly those that we need in order to deal with asymmetric threats of the kind that we saw on 11 September. This work will look both at the defence of the UK and at our capability to counter and deter terrorism abroad.
The Ministry of Defence and the Services have well-practised systems for learning and implementing lessons from operations. These will be applied to Operation Veritas. This will ensure that our plans and policies evolve and that we are prepared for the challenges that we may face in the future.