Britain’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace today criticized Prince Harry for “bragging” about shooting dead 25 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The 52-year-old Tory MP said the Duke of Sussex had ‘let down’ his former army comrades by revealing his death count in his autobiography ‘Spare’.
He is the highest-ranking minister to speak out on the issue, which experts say puts Britons at risk and drew the ire of the entire armed forces.
LBC’s Nick Ferrari asked Mr. Wallace about it today, and he said: ‘Frankly, I think bragging about tallies or talking about tallies misrepresents the fact that the Army is a team game. It is a team company. It’s not about who can shoot more.’
Mr Wallace told LBC’s Nick Ferrari today that Harry had been wrong to ‘bragging’ about Taliban deaths.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in The Hague in April last year.
Prince Harry patrols through the deserted town of Garmisir on January 2, 2008 in Helmand province. In his book, he said that he considered Taliban fighters as “chess pieces” during operations.
The defense secretary, who is in charge of Britain’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said Harry had “let down” his former colleagues in the armed forces.
He said, “If you start talking about who did what (you’re) letting all those other people down, because you’re not a better person because you did it and they didn’t.”
When asked by Mr. Ferrari if the royals had cracked an unwritten “code” that is unspoken about death counts.
Mr Wallace said: ‘Well, you’d have to ask Prince Harry about his options.’
He added: ‘For an infant to climb over, they are supported by hundreds of people behind them. Whether they’re at the headquarters in Britain, at Royal Logistic Corp, who help them get there. It’s a team
“It’s not about who can shoot more or who can’t shoot more. This is my personal opinion, if you start talking about who did what, what you’re really doing is letting all those other people down.’
Harry included the detail of killing 25 Taliban fighters in his controversial memoir Spare to Reduce Suicides in Veteran Communities, during an appearance on US television.
The Duke of Sussex referred to these soldiers as “chess pieces”.
His admissions, in defiance of the longstanding code not to discuss his “death count,” have particularly upset Armed Forces family members with mental health issues.
Spare’s release coincided with Harry’s popularity plummeting to an all-time low following the fallout from his memoir, both in the US and UK.
The Sussexes were also mercilessly lampooned in an episode of South Park last week.
It was even claimed that his wife Meghan Markle had expressed “mild concerns” about Prince Harry’s decision to release Spare.
She reportedly stayed away because she would have been accused of ‘trying to steal the spotlight’, but also ‘media savvy’ Meghan may have expressed mild concerns about whether the book was the right move. a source told the Telegraph.
The source said: ‘Is this the way she would have approached things? Possibly not. But she will always support him and she would never have gotten involved in promoting such a personal project. It was about her own life, her journey, and her own perspective.
While Harry, 38, released his explosive memoir, criticizing his family and revealing he killed 25 Taliban fighters, Meghan, 41, was conspicuously absent from any promos or interviews.
Mr Wallace is the most senior minister to speak on Harry’s account of his time in the Army.
Harry appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and insisted that the detail of killing 25 Taliban fighters in his controversial Spare memoir was to reduce suicides in veteran communities.
British troops and their families were upset by his book and many veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder found Harry’s admission very worrying.
In his January television interview, Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, did not challenge Harry when he insisted that “my words are not dangerous”, despite serious concerns being raised about the safety of the royal family and the British citizens abroad when the Taliban disclosure emerged.
He was also widely accused of emboldening the Afghan regime, which has returned the country to a brutal dictatorship since 2021, when Western troops left the country.
Militant regime leaders mocked Harry and called for his “war crimes” to be investigated by an international tribunal.
The Duke of Sussex told Colbert his words had been misrepresented, but Derek Hunt, whose son Nathan served with the prince in Afghanistan but later battled post-traumatic stress disorder and eventually took his own life, led the sentencing of his attempt to deflect criticism.
Mr Hunt, who campaigns on behalf of soldiers suffering from mental health problems, told the Mail: “However he tries to justify his comments, what he said cannot go unsaid.” This is too painful for many people to discuss so freely in public.
“Veterans weren’t clamoring for this debate, they’ve spent years trying to forget about the realities of combat, like taking people’s lives.
If the disclosure was part of his therapy, then it should have been between him and his therapist. I think he has brought back a lot of memories to those men and women who served and are trying to forget. If this was all for his benefit, then Harry has made a mistake.
Harry’s attempt to persuade the American television audience that he was trying to help veterans was greeted with applause at the New York studio, which had invited several veterans.
He told Colbert: “The reason I decided to share this in my book…I made the decision to share it because, having spent nearly two decades working with veterans all over the world, I believe the most important thing is to be honest and give space for others to share their experiences without any shame.
“And my whole goal, my attempt to share that detail is to reduce the number of suicides.”
More than 2,000 British soldiers and veterans are believed to have committed suicide since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Suicide rates in military communities have also risen in recent years. The risk of suicide among military veterans under the age of 25 is four times higher than among civilians, according to recent research.
Harry also told Colbert that he had been wrongly accused by the media of “bragging” about his murders. In doing so, the media have endangered his family, according to the prince.
He said: ‘The most dangerous lie that they (the media) have told is that I somehow bragged about the number of people I killed in Afghanistan. My words are not dangerous, but the twist of my words is (sic) very dangerous for my family.
‘I would say if I hear someone else bragging about that kind of thing, I would get mad. (The media) had the context. It wasn’t just that they had one line, they had the whole section. They ripped it off and said here he is bragging about this. And that is the choice they have made.
In fact, this interpretation of the prince’s remarks was put forward by numerous commentators, including Conservative MP Bob Stewart, who said: ‘I wonder why he is doing those things? Real soldiers tend to shy away. The people I know don’t brag about such things. They prefer to regret having had to do it.