Yesterday, the Ministry of Defence announced the passing of another British soldier in the death trap that is Helmand Province.
If the bloodshed continues at its current rate, the figure will by the end of the year reach the grim milestone of 400.
Even though the people of Wootton Basset have made sure that the repatriations are not forgotten, there is a danger that this death and the ones leading up to the four hundredth may pass almost without notice, such is the depressing familiarity of news of each new life lost. That they are doing their duty, is without doubt, however, what those of us in ‘civi-street’ appear not to be asking is why the need – what is Britain doing deploying the second biggest contingent of troops to a war where her contribution is symbollic, just as it was in Iraq, where British soldiers openly said that this was ‘America’s show.’
And just as importantly, how much longer will it last and when will it all stop.
Until such hard questions are asked, we will continue to be passive observers, as the sad news is brought to the family of another fallen soldier.
And through our silence we will be as culpable in their deaths as those who said nothing during the carnage of the first and second world wars.