A Soldier's View: You try to put it out of your mind, but we feel vulnerable

I get on fine with the Afghans I know, but they can be got at by the bad guys pretty quickly
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The Independent Online

One has to be very careful not to go for knee jerk reactions, I know it is very easy to think the worst when you hear things like what happened to the two lads at Lash [Lashkar gar]. But it would be a lie to pretend that we don't think about what happened and talk about what happened. So, yes we are worried about rogue members of the ANA [Afghan National Army] or ANP [Afghan National Police] because in that kind of situation you are unfortunately very, very vulnerable.

I have done some OMLT [training] work with the Afghans and I got to know them pretty well. And most of the guys I dealt with were fine, I got on well with them. I made sure that myself and the others did not treat them with disrespect. But you never know what is going on in the background, you don't know whether they would fall under the influence of the bad guys when they are away on R&R or if their families are being threatened. Of course, it may not be political at all, the killings at Blue 25 [of five British soldiers] was down to mickey-taking that went too far, we hear, and this Afghan guy just snapped. The problem is that he snapped with a gun in his hand and it all kicked off and when we had our unarmed lads being shot dead. That is the risk being in Helmand.

I know, of course, that the Afghans must take over security and we must work with them. I also know that the vast majority of them are totally reliable, but there are also a few nasty ones. You can't be on your guard all the time and we can see what a few nasty ones can do."

This piece was written by a sergeant in an infantry regiment who has served two deployments in Afghanistan and is due to go again in the autumn. He wished to remain anonymous

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