Dan Jarvis

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A British army officer in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2012: 457 servicemen and women died because of the Afghan conflict. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Was it worth it? That is what many of us who served in Afghanistan are quietly asking as we watch with bewilderment and horror at what is unfolding.

Four hundred and fifty-seven British servicemen and women never made it home from the war. Among them was Corporal Kevin Mulligan, a fearless young Scot with whom I had the honour of serving. He was the epitome of a paratrooper and one of our best and brightest commanders. At the time of his death, Kev’s fiancee was carrying their unborn child. One of countless tragedies borne out of that bloody conflict.

It is impossible to quantify the price paid over the past 20 years but whenever I think about Afghanistan, the human cost is at the forefront of my mind.…  Seguir leyendo »

Within a year the UK will be immersed in the first stage of a centenary commemoration like no other the world has seen: that of the First World War. But what will that great commemoration of the Great War be like?

Already, plans are being laid from national government to local history groups. Outline information is emerging, from TV programmes to a candlelight vigil marking the war’s outbreak. But the next year will be crucial for setting details of the commemoration, and defining the sorts of questions that are asked about the war.

There are two dangers in the questions we might ask.…  Seguir leyendo »