Civilians And Soldier Casualties In Afghanistan, What Is The Real State Of Security?

by Dawn Leckie and Will Esland

A British man was recently shot dead by his own security guard when arriving at his work in Afghanistan.

David Gile, 42, was the deputy director of the delivery firm DHL operation that was taking place within Afghanistan, he was killed in Kabul on Saturday by a local security guard, who then followed on by turning the rifle and shooting himself.
The rifle was fired into the moving car as David arrived at the city centre offices for the company, killing both him and his South African colleague Jason Bresler, the firms’ director.
The reason for their deaths is still unknown, as there does not appear to be a motive.

Julie Wilson, his previous wife of 7 years, and his 10 year old boy James were hit hard by the news. Although separating back in 2004, David was still a frequent visitor to his beloved family back in Hull, East Yorkshire.

These deaths follow on from the recent shooting of Gayle Williams, an aid worker that was killed by Taliban militants just 6 days before. Her funeral took place yesterday in the capital Kabul, with many of her family and friends appearing to show their respect.
The Taliban said that they killed the 34 year old because she worked for Serve Afghanistan – A Christian Britain-based organisation that they argued was trying to convert Afghanistan’s Muslim population.

These tragedies come just days before the last members of 2 Parachute Regiment return from their six month tour of Afghanistan.  Theirs was the unit hit hardest of all that are fighting the Taliban, and this summer thirteen lives were lost.

So what does all this mean for security and safety in Afghanistan?   Upon return to Colchester Barracks yesterday, Major Russell Lewis, Commander of B Company 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, said that British troops could not, “just keep having slugging matches” with the Taliban.  The fight against the Taliban is certainly a war of attrition and these recent deaths are alluding to the fact that something needs to turn in our favour.

Major Lewis also added, “I think the British public understands now that this is not going to be a quick campaign.  It’s worthwhile but it’s taking longer than people want.”   So while deaths, both civilian and military are regularly being published, progress continues to be made.  Unfortunately for the families of those that have lost their loves in Afghanistan this comes as little consolation in their time of grief.  As British service men and women continue to fight in hostile conditions the security situation in Afghanistan becomes a case of wait and see…..and hope.