Prince Harry’s tour of Afghanistan has been branded a propaganda stunt for the British Army by the father of a solider killed on duty.
Anthony Philippson, whose son James died fighting the Taliban in the war-torn country, believes the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) shamelessly used the prince to “glorify war”, with images of him on patrol in the dangerous Helmand Province being beamed across the world.
He said: “I’m afraid I’m very cynical about the objectives of the Ministry of Defence. I think they have just used Harry as propaganda to promote and glorify war which, in the end, is going to be found to be a terrible mistake. What it’s effectively done, all this publicity over the last few days, is that every corner of the world knows what has happened, including our enemies.”
Philippson also revealed he can’t see how the prince – who had been secretly serving in Afghanistan for 10-weeks before a US website leaked details of his whereabouts and he was forced to return to the UK over the weekend – will ever be able to return to the frontline.
He told GMTV: “How can he ever go out there again? He’s only got to go missing in a nightclub in London and they’ll all know where he’s gone.”
Captain James Philippson died in June 2006 when British forces were “completely out-gunned” by the Taliban.
Earlier this month, a coroner accused the MoD of an “unforgivable” breach of trust over the death of Capt Philippson after hearing his death and that of two other soldiers in Iraq could have been prevented if they were better equipped.