Driving The Situation Forward

Captain Jeremy Hann, The Royal Dragoon Guards writes about the international community in Kandahar and the inauguration of Gen David Petraeus.

When away from home, there are certain triggers that induce the longing to be in England in these summer months, and over the last few weeks these have been manifold; catching the sun-soaked snippets of Wimbledon, Not losing money backing French Raiders at Ascot, being sent photographs by friends. Apart from inducing the desire to be away from here, it also creates a fond reminiscence and a supplicant hopefulness that the days will soon pass ‘fore one’s return.

It has started to get really quite hot recently, about fifty degrees centigrade. The result of which is that the pounds are starting to slip off like an ill-fitting negligee on a Parisian woman of negotiable virtue when her rent is late.

We have had a busy couple of weeks in Kandahar city, both in terms of continuing to provide protection, security and freedom of movement for those members of the international community that need to move around the battle-space to help drive the situation forward, and also to a few different dramatis personae, we have had journalists from the BBC, ITV, The Sun, The Evening Standard et al. We have also had members of the US Treasury Department, and Department of Defence who have been meeting with Afghan Government officials in what appears to have been a very productive and promising set of engagements. Speaking to the American contingent during and afterwards, I am always struck by their optimistic and can-do attitude and their willingness to solve or overcome/overwhelm any problem that they encounter. As Evelyn Waugh said; ‘instead of this absurd division into sexes, they ought to class people as static and dynamic.’ The Americans, regardless of the wisdom of stereotype, fall into the latter class, and this, very definitely is, a good thing.

This weekend in Kabul there was the Inauguration of the New Commander ISAF, Gen David Petraeus. A man of whom there is enormous confidence in. I noticed whilst in Baghdad a couple of summers ago that he is an inspirational man and the following he had amongst the Americans there was borderline fanatical. I think that in this age of apathy and gutter-celebrity it is refreshing that there can be someone who is professional, motivated, and fiercely intelligent held as an idol, as opposed to a lacklustre footballer, or third-rate actor whom continually fails to deliver, yet seldom fails to be worshipped, and never fails to be over-remunerated.

Elsewhere it has been a saddening time for our regiment, the Royal Dragoon Guards, as two Troopers have lost their lives in fairly quick succession. It is the inescapable reality that whilst engaged in a counter-insurgency that lives will be lost, but no amount of trite phrasing from me will make it any easier for family and loved-ones of those departed. Their ultimate sacrifices will not be in vain, and I am sure that the loss will strengthen the resolve of comrades in order to complete the task in hand. Quis Separabit.

8 thoughts on “Driving The Situation Forward

  1. Thank you so much for your words. It gives “us” first hand information of what our men are up against and going through.
    Take care Capt.


  2. That was a positive blog worth reading and brought a smile as well as a reminder of the cost of our nations involvement in Afghanistan. Well done and thank you.


  3. Another witty and informative ‘blog’. Nice to see on TV news from Kandahar as opposed to Helmand, Sangin especially as it was my son that was being interviewed on one of your patrols through the city ( especially nice for both his mother and I just to see him in the flesh ).I have to praise the ITV as the clip on the ITV site was only on for 24 hours but they kindly replied to my requests and sent me not only the interview ,as per the show, but when the reporter got back to England the full interview was sent with all the unseen footage also.As you comment on the weight falling off I noticed this also on Lee.Your comments on the status of Gen Petraeus as opposed to those of overpaid sportsmen, actors etc is also widely held over here in England . You only have to read comments on Facebook to find this out.
    Keep the blogs coming and look after all the boys for us.


  4. Pingback: Driving The Situation Forward « Helmand Blog

  5. a very funny and witty blog,we will always have our humour we will always show empathy and sympathy i applaud each and every one of you guys but always remember you are in our thoughts ….. brilliant site take care xx


  6. Thank you for taking the time in writing to let us know back home what life is like for you there.
    IWe are still behind our Armed Forces and I continue to make people aware of HelpForHeroes and food boxes 🙂


  7. Love your blog. I’ve tweeted (@SkyPhilippa) about it so hope more people get to read from the frontline.

    More please.


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