Sunday, June 3, 2007

Harry Headed For Afganistan

Raymond Whitaker of The Independent is reporting this morning that Prince Harry may yet get his wish to serve in a war zone. While his regiment the Blues and Royals is deploying to Iraq without Harry, army commanders are considering sending Harry to Afghanistan to help train the Afghan army.

"But is Afghanistan any less dangerous?" Whitaker asks. Three British troops have recently died there. He speculates breathlessly about where Harry might "safely" be deployed, examining all of the "safe" provinces and jobs to which the young prince might be assigned.

The angst found in the Independent article is understandable. Nobody wants to see the young prince injured. I suspect, however, that Prince Harry would tell you that he is a professional soldier. Like Prince Andrew, who served in the Falklands War, he has to take a soldier's chance.

The reason for not deploying the Prince to any particular war zone is to protect the people around him from unnecessary risk. If there are places, even dangerous places, where Harry can serve in Afghanistan without unduly attracting kidnappers and suicide bombers then I say he should be deployed. His life is no more precious than the life of any other soldier serving his country. Nor is it any less. I have a hunch Harry would agree.