Earlier this week, our commanders handed over responsibility for Sangin (the volatile town that has claimed 106 British lives, a third of the total killed in Afghanistan) to US troops.
Dozens of British soldiers were killed earlier this year when men of the 3 Rifles battle group pushed along the road running north to south of the town in Helmand province to build 22 patrol bases.
But the Americans decided to abandon the posts, instead concentrating their troops in four major bases from which they could conduct operations.
We conclude therefore that the blood spilled in setting up the patrol bases was wasted. Nothing is gained by the Prime Minister paying tribute to "huge achievements." Solemnity is required not gloss; see Icons passim.
I could not dig, I dared not rob,
And so I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue,
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale will serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?