March 03, 2008
|In England, all was well with the voluntary media blackout, that is until Drudge broke the story in the States.|
PRINCE Harry today spent his first full day back in Britain after a tour of duty in Afghanistan, amid claims that media coverage had been “propaganda” and overlooked a failed military strategy.
The 23-year-old’s time fighting the Taliban in the volatile Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan has dominated the British media since a prominent US website blew his cover on Thursday, forcing military brass to pull him out.
But dissenting voices are now beginning to be heard above the widespread praise for the young prince, not least because of the British media’s agreement with the defence ministry to a news blackout until he returned.
A disappointed Harry returned to Britain on Saturday vowing to return to the frontline as soon as possible after two days of detailed reports, photographs and television footage plus headlines hailing him a “hero”.
The royal and his superiors say the coverage could help the public appreciate more their role in Afghanistan while the former head of the British Army, General Sir Mike Jackson, said it was “not unhelpful” for recruitment.
A high-profile parliamentary committee warned last month that pressure on Britain’s military to meet its commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq, where about 12,000 soldiers are committee in total, has battered morale and spurred experienced officers to leave.