The people who indiscriminately attack the civilian population are the insurgents and the terrorists
William Hague condemned the leaking of classified military information by the Wikileaks website this afternoon, as he updated MPs on the conduct of the war in Afghanistan.
Speaking in the Commons the foreign secretary said that while there was "no place for the mistreatment of detainees" he said the leak gave a "one sided propaganda gift for insurgents".
"I do condemn the unauthorised release of information which can endanger our forces and which can endanger people who have worked with our forces," he said.
Last week the Wikileaks website published 400,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war, following the July release of 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict.
And yesterday the Guardian obtained documents from the Ministry of Defence following a Freedom of Information Act request that suggested just three military units were linked to the majority of civilian casualties caused by British forces in Afghanistan.
Hague told MPs today: "It is our forces engaged above all in protecting the civilian population.
"The people who indiscriminately attack the civilian population are the insurgents and the terrorists."
Hague was appearing in the Commons to update MPs on the conduct of the war in Afghanistan. He said that while progress was being there was likely to be an increase in violence.
"The government is confident that we have the right military strategy in place and the right number of troops in Afghanistan," he said.
"However we must expect levels of violence to remain high, and even increase, as Afghan and ISAF forces tackle the insurgency."
Hague's statement came as Mikhail Gorbachev warned that NATO could not win in Afghanistan. The last leader of the Soviet Union warned that American risked getting trapped in "another Vietnam" and said the West should withdraw.
He told the BBC: "Victory is impossible in Afghanistan. Obama is right to pull the troops out. No matter how difficult it will be.
"But what's the alternative - another Vietnam? Sending in half-a-million troops? That wouldn't work."
Sir Peter Tapsel questioned whether any of the original objectives had been achieved. The Tory MP said these had included defeating the Taliban, abolishing poppy crops, establishing a democratic and peaceful government and making Britain safe from terrorism.
"How many have been achieved after 9 years of blood warfare?" he asked.
Hague agreed that the objectives had not yet been fully achieved, although he insisted life was improving for the Afghan people.
"It is true that in matters of healthcare or schooling life for afghan population has improved dramatically," he said.
"But we have not yet achieved the central objective which is our own national security, which is why we have to continue to work at this even though it is very difficult.
"I will not claim we have achieved swathes of our objectives."
Hague delivered the statement after the government promised to provide quarterly updates to Parliament on progress in the war.
Yesterday a Pentagon spokesman said the American government was braced for further documents to be published by Wikileaks.
"We believe that Wikileaks has in its possession additional documents that may be released in the future," he said.
"They still have the 15,000 documents from Afghanistan. They still have a video from Afghanistan. Those are things they have talked about publicly."