Ross Kemp returns to Helmand

Members of Whiskey Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, and the Afghan Uniform Police at the handover of Checkpoint Meelet, Nad 'Ali (South)

‘Ross Kemp: Back On The Frontline’ starts on Sky1 at 2100hrs GMT tonight 14th November 2011.

Expressing firm opinions on why the Taliban should be given air time he adds:

“There is no way that the solution to Afghanistan will come at the end of a rifle. It will come through negotiations and undoubtedly the Taliban have to be involved, so the sooner we start listening to what they believe, what they want, the sooner we will hopefully come to a settlement. They weren’t clichés. They have beards and they wear black turbans but they are all individuals.”

Kemp also believes that no-one should be thinking about trying to turn Afghanistan into a completely democracy-embracing country:

“They are Afghans and they live the Afghan way. It will never be the same as ours, and why should it be? But it would be a heck of a waste of time and life if we leave that country and things haven’t improved. But I’m hoping and praying that they will.”

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Military Operations | Ross Kemp returns to Helmand.

Michael Yon: Eight Years After 9/11

Memorial

Latest dispatch from Michael Yon:

The task was very dangerous and we expected a fight.  Ross Kemp, the famous British journalist who shot a documentary here, did a fine job in catching the truth of the Green Zone.  Little has changed since Mr. Kemp came here; his work is as true now as it was then.   Every British soldier knows and respects Ross Kemp—not because he made them heroes, but because he told the truth.

As a mood-probe, I posed a silly question from the darkness: “Is this dangerous?”  Two soldiers burst into laughter, and a third said, “It’s stupid as shit, that’s what it is.”  The mood was good. It’s when you don’t get an answer that you need to watch out…

…The enemy owns the Green Zone and so platoons don’t push far from base.  The risk of being outnumbered and outmanoeuvred is evident.  Some commanders might take issue with that statement, but the commanders here will not.  To any commanders who are distant and would like to challenge my claim that the enemy owns the Green Zone here, they might consider accepting my challenge: When an officer of the rank of Colonel or General is ready to walk from FOB Jackson to PB Wishtan to FOB Inkerman and walk back to FOB Jackson, please call and I’ll walk with you.

Eight Years After 9/11.