Prince Harry Criticized Over Claims He Killed 25 Afghan Fighters

Prince Harry has come under criticism from senior UK military figures, and Taliban leaders, over claims that he killed 25 fighters during two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry Criticized Over Claims He Killed 25 Afghan Fighters
Image credit: Getty Images [via The Telegraph]

Facts

  • Prince Harry has come under criticism from senior UK military figures, and Taliban leaders, over claims that he killed 25 fighters during two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
  • The figure was included in his new autobiography "Spare," set to be released in the UK on Jan. 10. "My number is 25," the Duke of Sussex reportedly writes. "It's not a number that fills me with satisfaction," he said, continuing, "but neither does it embarrass me."
  • Following the release of the comments — which were widely publicized after Spare mistakenly went on sale to the general public in Spain on Thursday — a senior Taliban official called for Prince Harry to be brought before an "international court" for "proudly confessing [the] crime" of killing 25 people in Afghanistan. Khalid Zadran, the Taliban's police spokesman in Kabul, said, "Afghans will never forget the killing of their innocent countrymen."
  • Meanwhile, ex-army officer Col. Richard Kemp has described the Duke's comments, which included a description of those he killed as "chess pieces taken off the board," as "ill-judged." Kemp — who commanded British forces in Afghanistan in 2003 — criticized the Prince's characterization of insurgents as "virtually unhuman," and reflected that his words might worsen his security issues by provoking revenge by Taliban sympathizers.
  • The accidental early release of the autobiography on Thursday also saw the publication of new details about the relationship breakdown between Prince Harry and older brother, and heir to the throne, Prince William.

Sources: Sky, CNN, Telegraph, Abc, and Guardian.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Spectator. Good soldiers don't publicize how many people they've killed, primarily out of a sense of decency and respect for the lives they've taken. Many who fought in Afghanistan now acknowledge that, in Helmand Province where the Duke of Sussex served, most fighting British forces were local tribes people rather than members of al-Qaeda. This indiscretion, however, is one of many in Spare that exemplify Harry's failure to demonstrate the dignity and restraint that made his grandmother's reign successful.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Guardian. If any conclusion can be drawn from the controversy surrounding this autobiography, it is that rivalry and resentment, victory and shame, occurring between siblings crosses all barriers of class. There is something deeply unhealthy about hereditary power and, despite the immense privilege the Duke of Sussex and Prince of Wales originate from, the publicly catastrophic unraveling of their relationship may be at least in part down to this undemocratic and draconian inheritance of power at the centre of their family.

Predictions