They don’t come home in flag draped coffins. Crowds do not line the street in silent tribute to their sacrifice.   They are the fallen heroes the government keeps in the shadows; private security contractors who’ve lost their lives servicing British interests in hostile environments.   It’s high time they were honoured.

Those familiar with my writings will know that this is a topic very close to my heart.  For years I’ve been shouting from the rafters for government to externally regulate private security firms with operations abroad.  Continue reading

It’s Great Britain, Prime Minister – Not Grovelling Britain

It was meant to put Britain’s relationship with the United States back on an even keel.  Instead, Prime Minister David Cameron’s first official trip to Washington this week managed to make Great Britain look more like Grovelling Britain.

The Prime Minister’s inner suck-up reared its head early on when he allowed four US Senators to hijack the agenda.  Continue reading

The Free and The Forgotten

Free thanks to his family.

After a horrendous ordeal, British security manager Bill Shaw is on his way home.  Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the terrible injustice suffered by the G4S manager.  Back in April, Mr. Shaw was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $25,000 for allegedly bribing Afghan officials to release two impounded G4S vehicles.  Earlier this month, an Afghan appeals court finally threw out the charges against Mr. Shaw, citing insufficient evidence.

I cannot begin to imagine the hell that Bill Shaw has been through.  By all accounts he is a manager of impeccable integrity who believed he had paid a legitimate fine to a member of the NDS, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.  In fact, it was his attempt to obtain a receipt for the payment that resulted in his arrest and incarceration.  Sadly, Mr. Shaw learned the hard way what happens to honest men in Afghanistan.  He spent four months in Kabul’s notorious Pul-i-Charki prison alongside murderers, Taliban and hardcore jihadists who put a $10,000 bounty on his head.    Continue reading

Leaving Sangin

The announcement that British forces will hand over control of Sangin to American troops has stirred some very powerful emotions. Despite military and Government insistence that the move is a logical redeployment; the decision has nevertheless provoked charges that the British military failed in Sangin and is running away.

First, let’s separate the military brass from the brave soldiers doing the hard graft on the ground.  The British produce the finest soldiers in the world.   I have no doubt our forces could hang on in Sangin indefinitely, as the Paras proved in 2006 during the opening phase of Britain’s woefully undermanned and infamously underequipped deployment to Helmand.  Sadly, the number of boots on the ground was never increased sufficiently to allow British forces to dominate their area of operations; hence why they have managed to ‘hang on’ rather than turn the situation around. Continue reading