Following The Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan
Michael Yon is an independent journalist who has undertaken a number of embeds with British and American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In September, he spent some time with the Parachute Regiment in Helmand Province and his three blog posts are well worth a read.
Part One gives you an insight into 2 Para’s life at Forward Operating Base Gibraltar and has some great photos of the surrounding poppy and corn fields.
In Part Two, Yon describes a British sniper firing a warning shot that hits an Afghan man, believed to be working with the Taliban. He also watches several firefights from a fire support position.
Part Three begins with this comment on the war in Afghanistan.
“The troops are fighting hard and killing the enemy. They are professional and extremely competent. Their morale is high. They are doing a great job. And we are losing the war.”
And Yon suggests the war isn’t just being fought on the ground:
“As in Iraq, the media battle in Afghanistan is of vital importance. Domestic and international opinion can affectâ€”or even determineâ€”the outcome of this war. Right now, in the United States, Afghanistan is seen as the â€œGood War,â€ the one that was forced upon us, while Iraq was a war of choice. Weâ€™ll see how long that feeling can be sustained in America and Britain, while casualties mount and the war drags on.”
These three posts document a busy time for the Parachute Regiment. The sort of danger the soldiers are facing was brought home by the death of Private Jason Rawstron several days after Michael Yon finished his embed.