Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A turning point for the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan

Cpl Jake Hartley, 20, Pte Anthony Frampton, 20, Pte Christopher Kershaw, 19, Pte Daniel Wade, 20, and Pte Daniel Wilford, 21, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment died with Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, when their Warrior was blown up in Afghanistan.

Names assuredly that will live on for a long time, remembered with regret. Rightly so. Time will tell if their deaths were a watershed moment, a turning point for the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan.

Probably not. Everyone knows we are committed to the campaign until 2014 and despite the loss and grief many in the York's community feel about this campaign, we should see it out until the end.

What many do not realise is that the media are only briefed by the MoD on the terms of the government. We only find out about what occurs in Afghanistan via press leaks or from the ingenuity of the press itself. As a rule, the MoD never comment on operations, and certainly never breaks the cardinal rule of not reporting on Special ops; Much the same way the Admiralty never disclose the whereabouts of the Royal Navy's submarines.

Therefore, the only news that often comes out of Afghanistan is negative. This tactic is often manipulated in favour of the enemy as propaganda to demonstrate the weakness of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), which we will feel in Britain.

In addition in the UK, a feeling of being under siege can be exacerbated by supporters of Islamist terrorism whom use seemingly negative news about the conflict in favour of their warped views on Islam to call into question Britain’s role in Afghanistan.

However, because Britain, as a substantial rule on reporting of conflicts, says little about its Armed Forces, it cannot be accused of propaganda by its enemies. The same rule applies to the abduction of British nationals – the UK government does not negotiate with pirates, kidnappers, nor terrorists.

It takes real nerve and strength to have this policy; often stuck between a rock and a hard place of international and domestic criticism, traditionally British governments have been doing this for a century, by nature becoming very adept.

The aphorism goes: don’t take a Brit, it won’t get you anything.

Because of the death of the 6 soldiers recently, and public opinion running so high, some little positive news did come out of Afghanistan via the MoD only days after their deaths. Although it was little reported by the mass media, naturally, it can give a modicum of succour to the bereaved.


  1. Our best wishes go out to the friends and families of the soldiers who've died, and all the military and ex military personnel who knew them.

  2. It's a difficult truth that often our small successes can only come out of the deaths of some of our military heroes. In it til 2014 yet with redundancies and cuts throughout...we are here to support ex-Forces servicemen and women but we're hearing more stories about depression and PTSD than we are about physical violence. A sign of the times?

    Katie Hire a Hero