All Things Soldier: Prince Harry And The Debacle Of The Drawdown

I have spoken at length in days gone by of the frustration experienced by troops over the way both the media and civilian superiors handle details regarding their movements or strategies. I had my own life endangered on more than one occasion because of their folly, and events of the last week underscore once just how vulnerable are our troops to attack from the mishandling of information.
Afghanistan is a place of tremendous danger from within and without. Afghan security forces trained by our troops are turning upon and murdering those who have labored long and hard to give them a shot at being free. Amongst those serving bravely is Prince Harry of England, the youngest son of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

Recently the outer perimeter on the base where Prince Harry is serving was breached, and 18 enemy combatants were killed. Their stated purpose was to take out Prince Harry, and of that I have no doubt. It would have been tough to do, and thankfully their attempt at physical and psychological warfare in a war where morale was flagging was foiled. But, do you know what would have been a perfect end to the story? That we never heard of it. I realize that in this day of internet and instant messaging that is nigh on to impossible, but quite frankly, our insistence on having a “front row seat” in a theatre of combat endangers our soldiers.

Now the entire Taliban and every other Islamist terrorist group on the planet know the location of Prince Harry, who is already in an impossible situation. The guy just wants to be a soldier who doesn’t get any special treatment, serve with his squad, and finish his tour. Whether or not he has been moved, I don’t know and don’t want to know. Either way, I can guarantee you that having it globally broadcast that he was there and was the target helped no one, least of all the British troops serving with him.

On to the up and coming drawdown of our troops in Afghanistan. The President of the United States by de facto has all but told the Taliban that they just need to sit tight and wait. The level of troop reduction has been well published, as well as the timeline, and the only thing worse would have been to send the enemy a memo containing the itinerary.

When I was in Iraq, I had to come up with a code to communicate with my husband when I’d be arriving so as not to inadvertently disclose movement, and I was a civilian. So, is it any wonder that the Boston Globe just published a piece discussing the all time low level of morale amongst our brave troops? Connect the dots, folks. Trust me, it’s no fun having a bull’s eye painted on your chest, and it’s even worse when it happens at the behest of those who should know better.
By: Ali Elzabeth Turner