The British Prime Minister has flown into Afghanistan amid a growing row over defence funding.
Gordon Brown visited British troops at two front- line bases, a day after telling an official inquiry into the Iraq war he had not starved the military of funds.
In Afghanistan, he thanked the soldiers for their contribution and promised them all the equipment and resources they need.
“Over the last few days, our British forces have been working with the Afghans, and the Americans have made huge advances clearing the area of the Taliban, making sure that people feel safer, so we have a strategy where we can strengthen the local Afghan people to be able to do the jobs we’re doing and over time our British troop numbers can come down as a result,” Gordon Brown said.
There are 10,000 British troops in Afghanistan. For the past few weeks, around 4,000 have been involved in an offensive to secure control of the Taliban haven of Marjah.
Gordon Brown’s visit comes just months ahead of a general election in the UK.
Ex-Generals and the Conservatives have accused him of starving the military of money for helicopters and effective armoured vehicles, thus robbing them of adequate protection against weapons used by the Taliban.