Its great that Prince Harry has had a chance to serve in Afghanistan. As this blog has argued previously, to keep him at home would have made a mockery of the armed forces.
Instead, they showed some chutzpah and a little bit of cunning, by sending him off to Helmand and not telling anyone.
Indeed, to be foiled by a measly blog post in America or Australia or wherever it was is disappointing. They need to continue thinking along the same tactical lines. After all, withdrawing Leiutenant Wales early is a significant personell issue, just like a battlefield casualty.
Here’s Leo Docherty, veteran of the Afghanistan campaign, on attitudes to war amongst the officer class:
Put simply, this is a disastrous military adventure and not a just war. Perhaps Prince Harry knows this. More likely, however, is that he’s not too bothered about it because, for him, as for every other young officer, seeing active service is more important than any other consideration. This attitude is perhaps unavoidable in a highly trained professional army in which “cracking on” and doing what you’re told is an institutional requirement.
But the Army has over the past few years of the “war on terror” exceeded itself when it comes to blind obedience. Take the Iraq war. In 2003 my fellow officers and I knew the WMD issue was a blatant ruse, but we cared little. Scenting action we ignored the fact that we’d been told a pack of lies, and satisfied ourselves with the vague notion that it was all for the good. We simply craved active service.