Roadside bombs have killed two British soldiers in Afghanistan. The soldiers, from 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, were on foot patrol near Malgir in Helmand province when two bombs went off yesterday morning.
A total of 253 British forces personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.
NATO's civilian representative in Kabul, Mark Sedwill, has warned Britain can expect to suffer 'many more casualties' and soldiers face a 'very challenging year' marred by an 'awful of of violence'.
He continued: "We will have many foreign troops there in training and supporting probably for a decade or more.
"Of course we will have development aid probably for 20, 30, 40 years even".
Earlier this month, the head of the Army, General Sir David Richards, said he expected fewer British casualties in Afghanistan from the end of 2010.
The Centre for Policy Studies has issued a report, ahead of Wednesday's Green Paper on defence reform, warning that with neither of the two major parties promising to protect the defence budget, spending requires drastic changes.
Gordon Brown has other ideas as he will commit labour to billions of pounds of extra defence spending by ordering two new aircraft carriers. At the same time, defence chiefs are exploring how closer military links with France and the potential benefits of an entente cordiale could tackle future dangers with limited resources.
Is that the same France which the Attorney General for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Goldsmith, refused to approach during the discussions leading up to the Iraq war less than 10 years ago?
Meantime, the dying will continue in Afghanistan and military families will suffer the intense pain of grief and loss.