A retired Major-General in the British Army says we need to ‘cut Prince Harry some slack’ as he is a damaged man who needs help.
Tim Cross who has seen active service in many parts of the world and who has commanded forces at every level, has been speaking to Premier as the Prince continues to do media rounds to promote his memoir Spare. Among some of the headlines are his comments about his time as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.
Prince Harry says he killed 25 Taliban insurgents and described it as ‘removing chess pieces from a board.’
Major-General Cross who is a Christian, says while his comments are disappointing, we need to have some sympathy for the Prince :
“I've got a lot of time for Prince Harry and I know he was a very good Apache pilot. I think he was very happy in his time in the army and he was much liked and respected.
“We also need to give him great credit for his work in establishing the Invictus Games.
“I’m therefore very disappointed and sad that we are now going through this phase of his life with all these revelations. But I would want to cut him some slack in terms of recognising what he's done in the past.
“I don’t think this business about Afghanistan is helpful and alongside all the other revelations, I think he's damaging himself. I worry for him, I worry for his children. I worry for the royal family. I don't like the fact that the royal family is in some sense being undermined by all of this.
“I’m quite surprised at the specific revelations in Afghanistan and I don’t think they're very helpful. I don't know why he's come up with his figure. On any battlefield, there are always sadly, casualties. But being able to know what damage you've caused, and the specifics of who's been killed, who's been wounded, and the consequences that flow from that is virtually impossible.
“It’s very unusual for anybody in my experience, and I've been on a number of operations around the world, to be counting. So I'm surprised at these statistics. I'm not convinced that they're worth much to be honest, and I'm not quite sure why he thinks he needs to talk about it. It is very, very unusual. And it is not something that the British military would, in any sense want anybody to be doing. We talk about a strong moral component in the British military, which may sound procuring in the context of a battlefield, but understanding the laws of armed conflict, understanding the Geneva Conventions, and complying with them, and doing what needs to be done, but nonetheless, in a controlled way, without being vainglorious.
“I think it's a reflection of his state of mind. I think he is damaged. I think he's going through a very difficult period. All these things taken together made me very sad, because I think he's a damaged man, and he needs help and all these revelations are not doing him any good.”
“I hesitate to say that he's suffering from PTSD and most of the military comments I've heard about this come from a position of sadness, not from a position of wanting to ‘dump’ on him. So I think as Christians, we need to be praying for him. We need to pray for forgiveness. We need to pray for reconciliation within the family. We need to be forgiving. We need to recognise the situation that he's in. We do need to understand, obviously, he had a very difficult childhood. We do need to pray that he can emerge from this somehow stronger and be able to move on.”
Prince Harry served in the British Army for ten years rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of Aghanistan.