Prince Harry may serve in Afghanistan

Prince Harry may still get a chance to see action

29th May 2007
Daily Mail

Prince Harry could still fulfil his dream of serving in a war zone after Army chiefs drew up plans for him to serve with UK forces in Afghanistan this summer.

Desperate to salvage some credibility from the debacle of his cancelled mission to Iraq, top brass are considering sending him with fellow officers to help train the Afghan army.

Ready for duty: Prince Harry has always been keen to serve in a combat zone with his fellow officers

The young prince was due to deploy as a troop commander with his Blues and Royals Regiment to southern Iraq this month, until the head of the Army General Sir Richard Dannatt decided it was too dangerous both for him and his fellow-soldiers.

Now the Daily Mail has learned that an alternative plan is being developed for Harry to fly to Afghanistan to join the 6,500-strong UK force battling Taliban insurgents.

The 22-year-old prince has been trained to lead a 12-strong armoured reconnaissance unit, but he would instead join a small group of fellow officers - including some from his own regiment - in Afghanistan.

Decisions: It is Sir Richard Dannatt's call whether or not Harry gets to go

Senior defence officials hope commanders would be able to keep Harry away from the public gaze, allowing him to carry out a meaningful role without facing excessive risks.

It is hoped he could travel to Afghanistan unannounced, spend a few weeks there and return without attracting publicity.

The plan would ease his bitter disappointment at not being allowed to serve with his unit - which is now in Iraq being led by a stand-in junior commander - and could even keep alive Harry's dream of a long-term Army career.

One Army insider told the Mail: "I'm sure Harry will jump at the chance. It may not be the same as going to Iraq with his own guys, but it's better than sitting at home 'on his a***', as he put it.

"Everything depends on security, both for him and the people around him."

Clarence House declined to comment, saying: "Operational deployments are a matter for the Ministry of Defence."

The MoD declined to comment on security grounds. The Mail understands preparations are in hand and other officers heading for Afghanistan have been briefed.

But senior commanders are all too aware of how sensitive the plans are, say insiders, and a final decision from Sir Richard is not expected for some weeks.

The Taliban have announced a new offensive, code-amed operation Kamin or "Ambush", against Nato forces.

A spokesman said: "We will target our enemies and use our tactics - suicide bombs, remote-controlled (roadside bombs) and ambushes."

It was three weeks ago that Sir Richard announced an 11th hour U-turn over Harry's planned deployment to Iraq.

He said "specific intelligence" meant the risk to the prince and to his fellow soldiers would be too high.

Commanders had learned of plots to seize Harry and smuggle him across the border to Iran - raising the nightmare prospect of a royal hostage crisis.

An insurgent sniper had also been ordered to assassinate him as a "priority".

The decision was a crushing blow for Harry, who had said publicly there was no way he wanted to "haul his sorry a***" through Sandhurst only to be left behind while his men went off to war.

Publicly he accepted the decision and Clarence House played down talk of him quitting the Army, but in private he told friends he still hoped to be able to serve in a combat zone.
I donít know it thatís a good idea. His Royal Highness The Prince Henry of Wales must recognise that his safety and security is of the utmost importance; to that end, His Royal Highness should only be deployed under complete secrecy and confidentiality. Unfortunately, the tabloids in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will see to it, should he be deployed, that everyone knows where The Prince is going.
Actually his security is supposed to be worth dick.

He is supposed to shipped off to front line combat. He isn't a reigning monarch and he isn't even next in line. His dad is, and if his dad bites it after being king its his brother.

His security is not important, he's supposed to be military and thus in combat.
I think the guy would make a target out of any base he was stationed. Stick him in the Navy and send him to patrol the Bahamas and be done with it.
So you would rather have terrorists target the Bahamas AND a military base in their home turf, rather than just have them target a military base in their home turf.
Quote: Originally Posted by ZzarchovView Post

So you would rather have terrorists target the Bahamas AND a military base in their home turf, rather than just have them target a military base in their home turf.

Yes, those Bahama Mamas have been strutting around like they're the cockofthewalk or something.

Every fortunate son gets something nice to do during their service in the military. Why in the world is anyone fooling themselves about this one?
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