‘Dr Peter Lee, a university lecturer who spent seven years as an RAF padre, has released the emails from British soldiers serving in Afghanistan to highlight the extent of disillusionment within the ranks. The correspondence includes two emails sent by a major on the brink of a fresh deployment to the region. He likens the prospect to ‘being put on for the last two minutes of a lost game’ of rugby.
In his article printed below, Dr Lee describes this as ‘enough time to get hurt, badly, and perhaps enough time to make the defeat fractionally less embarrassing. But there is no chance that defeat can be turned into victory’.
The emails follow the news that Sapper Connor Ray from 33 Engineer Regiment became the 409th British military fatality since the conflict began in 2001 when he died on Wednesday from injuries sustained in an explosion in Helmand.Polls have shown that a majority of British people are confused about the purpose of our mission and want the troops to be pulled out immediately. Barely one in ten think the conflict is winnable.
David Cameron has pledged that Afghan forces will take over lead security responsibility in all parts of the country by the end of next year. British forces will then offer a ‘supporting combat role’ in 2014, before withdrawing from all combat operations by December of that year – ensuring the Government will not go into the next General Election against the backdrop of continuing bad news from the front line.’