Monday, 6 December 2010
Another British soldier died yesterday from wounds he received after being shot in southern Afghanistan. The soldier was from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.
We have now lost 346 of our armed forces in the Afghanistan war.
Last week we learned, from the Wikileaks documents, that Gulab Mangai, governor of Helmand province, was particularly disdainful of the British effort in the town of Sangin - which has become synonymous with heavy UK casualties. In a communication to British officials in January 2009, he wrote "Stop calling it the Sangin district and start calling it the Sangin base - all you have done here is built a military camp next to the city."
Furthermore, the cables report conversations in which Mr Karzai said that Britain was "not up to the task" of securing the southern province of Helmand and suggested the job would be better given to the US. Karzai is also reported to have told US officials he was puzzled why security in Helmand had deteriorated after the arrival of British troops.
A US general, Dan McNeill, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan in 2007/08 was also scathing in his remarks: he had been "dismayed" by the British effort which "made a mess of things" in Helmand.
We have now lost 346 of our armed forces in the Afghanistan war plus the unknown numbers who have sustained serious injuries.
Isn't it good to know that our allies think so highly of our efforts? Their attempts at damage limitation flattery doesn't impress.
Update 7 Dec: A fellow blogger has provided more information about the latest tragedy.