of operations in OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom). With the renewed focus
on Afghanistan, it's critical to understand the political, military and
economic challenges in this important part of the world. Not the least
reason is its proximity to Pakistan (nuclear armed, Islamic, not too stable
The region has frustrated great powers for some time, Britain in the 19th
century, the Soviet Union in the 20th and now attempts to thwart the efforts
of the United States and the rest of the world from imposing some sort of
rule of law into a perennially lawless region.
I'll definitely miss being out with British combat troops. Great soldiers
who can always count on the support of at least one writer. The British
Ministry of Defense, however, needs a tune up.
Am back with U.S. forces and did three missions on Sunday. More on that as
American and British forces are working closely together here. The
U.S./U.K. relationship in Helmand is extremely good. (Presumably elsewhere,
too, but I do not know.) My first mission yesterday was with a U.S. Air
Force helicopter rescue team to pick up a British casualty. The British
people at home should know that our helicopters will get their men and women
off the battlefields and back to the hospital in less than an hour, no
Please see today's dispatch, wherein a British soldier who was watching out
for me gets his antenna shot off.
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