Another soldier from 3 RIFLES has been killed in Afghanistan. He died from wounds received as a result of an explosion which occurred near Sangin, in Helmand province, yesterday morning.
"He was on foot patrol to the south-west of Patrol Base Blenheim when he was struck by an explosion. He died in the course of his duty and among his comrades. He will be sorely missed and we will remember him," said spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield.
Today Gordon Brown is visiting Afghanistan in a visit he said was "planned for some time." Now I have the answer to why he was so gratuitous in his praise of the military yesterday at the Chilcot Inquiry. If he was hoping his syrup-loaded remarks would make him more welcome again he misjudges our armed forces. They are people of principle and honesty. They cannot afford to trust those who they know to be untruthful because that could cost them their lives.
Brown has promised 2000 new IED detectors and announced they will be given 200 new patrol vehicles to replace the much criticised Snatch Land Rovers. It's nearly a decade since the army said Snatch Land Rovers weren't suitable for the terrain in the middle east as they were originally procured for Northern Ireland duties.
Since the beginning of operations in October 2001 269 British forces personnel have died serving in Afghanistan, plus thousands who have been seriously wounded. Now that other countries are planning to withdraw their troops I wonder if the words "The right decisions for the right reasons" will come back to haunt Gordon Brown. I do hope so because in this war there are no winners or losers, only a culture of local leaders making good and a corrupt government which will never change.
My fellow Scots blogger Fitaloon has also given his tribute.