Sunday, July 21, 2024

The "Triples" were Commando Force (CF) 333 and Afghan Territorial Force (ATF) 444 of the Afghan National Security Forces,

The Minister of State for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP a former regular infantry officer, confirmed in Parliament on Thursday (1 Feb 2024) that the Ministry of Defence would reassess all eligibility decisions made for applications with credible claims to be former members of Afghan Special Forces, including members of CF 333 and ATF 44, who served alongside British units.

The reassessment will be done by "a team independent of the one that made the initial eligibility decisions". The team will review each case "thoroughly and individually".

This announcement, in response to an 'urgent question' by Shadow Defence Minister Luke Pollard MP (Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport, Lab/Co-op) is welcome. Mr Heappey sought to explain difficulties in assessing such applications. Some 2000 applications are said to be involved.

Now the allegation by "former British officers" about the linkage to the Independent Inquiry has been aired in a column by Dominic Lawson in today's Sunday Times (paywall), headlined:

Working with the SAS cursed these Afghans

Are former commandos paying for witnessing the infamous ‘night raids’?

As far as BAFF is concerned, at this point we have no information to show that endorsement was withheld from certain applications with the aim of depriving Haddon-Cave of potential witnesses. We would like to see that allegation quickly and thoroughly investigated. If true, those responsible should surely face prosecution and if untrue, the authorities should move quickly to protect the integrity of the Independent Inquiry and avoid unfair prejudice against UKSF evidence.

We continue to support armed forces personnel facing unjustified allegations - and advocate fair treatment of any service person or veteran facing serious allegations, apparently justified or not. We also continue to support the case for assistance to former local staff facing extra threats because of their previous work in support of British armed forces.

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Anonymous replied the topic:
5 months 2 weeks ago
An earlier debate on this subject, initiated by Shadow Defence Minister Luke Pollard MP and replied to by MinAF James Heappey MP, is here:

Former Afghan Special Forces: Deportation
Volume 742: debated on Monday 11 December 2023