Her Majesty the Queen has unveiled a memorial at Victoria Embankment Gardens in London to commemorate ‘the duty and service of British citizens who voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way, protected our nation’s interests far from the security of the UK, helped those in danger and worked to improve the lives of those in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan.’
In an official brochure to mark the occasion, Prime Minister Theresa May stated: ‘The missions in Iraq and Afghanistan called on hundreds of thousands of our military and civilian personnel to put their lives on the line in an heroic effort to help secure greater peace and stability in some of the most hostile environments that we have ever known.’
It’s a remarkable volte face since only last month she described the Iraq and Afghanistan missions as ‘failed interventions’ and warned that there can be ‘no return to the failed policies of the past – the days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of a memorial to those that served but I prefered the Prime Minister’s earlier honesty about our achievements in the region.
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Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry or your money back (but check the small print first), Spin Zhira is a tale of one man’s personal battle against the trials of middle age set on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan.
‘Brims with authenticity and dark humour.’
Patrick Hennessey, bestselling author of The Junior Officers’ Reading Club
Doug Beattie, bestselling author of An Ordinary Soldier
‘A must read.’
Richard Dorney, bestselling author of The Killing Zone
‘The best book by a soldier concerning the Afghan War that I have read’
Frank Ledwidge, bestselling author of Losing Small Wars
SOLDIER The official magazine of the British Army
‘Not just for soldiers’
William Reeve, BBC World Service and Afghanistan Correspondent