UK Defence Minister Geoff Hoon has told the British public to brace itself and
expect casualties in Afghanistan as a result of British soldiers being shot by
“No government sends its troops to fight alongside the Americans without a
great deal of consideration,” Mr. Hoon told reporters today. “It is not a decision
that is ever taken lightly. We know there will be casualties.”
—British Commandos: Understandably nervous.
Around 1,700 Royal Marine commandos are on their way to Afghanistan to
join the 1,500 troops already stationed in the country.
“We know for a fact that the Americans have highly sophisticated weapons
easily capable of wiping out an entire squadron in a matter of seconds,” Hoon
told MPs in the Commons. “We cannot underestimate the capacity of the
Americans to kill people on their own side by mistake. They are ruthlessly
efficient in that respect.”
But he warned that the potential risks should not divert attention away from
the operation’s goals.
“Let us not lose sight of the aims and objectives of this very dangerous mission,” he
said. “I do not know what those objectives are at this moment in time, but I will let
you know what they are just as soon as I have received them from my counterpart