Yesterday, another British soldier lost his life in Afghanistan. He belonged to the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South) and died from a gunshot wound sustained during a small arms fire engagement with insurgent forces in the Nahr-e Saraj areas of Helmand yesterday morning. Another family suffer the grief of an unnecessary death, the number which now amount to 287.
After his visit to the area last weekend Liam Fox, Defence Secretary, has made a statement. Nothing much of interest in it but I expect he had to account for the upset to our soldiers' regular routines with his VIP visit (accompanied by other ministers).
Did you know that the International Red Cross Committee provide basic first aid training and first aid kits to arms carriers? I didn't either. Neither did I know Uzbekistan is blocking hundreds of train carriages of supplies for NATO operations in Afghanistan.
Yesterday there was an informative article in the German Spiegel which states 'When Washington starts withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in July 2011, its NATO allies in Europe will quickly rush to the exits...' Most Afghans believe that the US endgame is already well under way.
More than $25 billion has been poured into efforts to rebuild the Afghan army and police, but they are still largely illiterate, undertrained and irresponsible and nowhere near ready to take over nation-building tasks. Do read it. Seldom do our MSM report so much detail.
If the Americans are planning to start withdrawing a year from now then surely we will proceed to a similar timetable. At present Liam Fox insists there is no plan for withdrawal. I don't believe him.