'I wake up and feel my pistol strapped to my leg' ex-Marine on his Afghanistan service

19 August 2021, 15:10

What should we have done in Afghan? Castle asks ex-Marine

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This former Royal Marine tells LBC he thinks the Afghanistan campaign was worth it, even through he struggled to reintegrate into UK life when he came home.

Paul from Exmouth called to speak to Andrew Castle after it emerged the UK is sending around 600 military personnel to Afghanistan to help bring British nationals home as the Taliban takes more control of the country.

The security situation is rapidly deteriorating and thousands of civilians have been displaced.

Watch: Afghan translators 'risked their lives to help us stay alive' they 'earned place in UK'

Describing his job as "to smash the enemy" the caller said he really struggled when the returned to the UK.

"I can still feel a pistol strapped to my leg at night when I wake up," he told Andrew.

He said if people spoke to "combat soldiers, who have closed and engaged with the enemy," then "I don't think you'll find any of those guys who will say it wasn't worth it."

Read more: UK to deploy 600 troops to Afghanistan to help British nationals leave amid Taliban gains

Recounting his time on tour in the country he said he looked back at the people he helped in Afghanistan, "that is what I see when people talk about Afghan."

The former Marine told LBC when he was deployed he was "fighting people who are fighting an infinite goal, their goal is to keep the war going."

"I didn't have any respect for the people we were fighting, they did terrible things to people and they deserved what we did to them."

US, British and other foreign troops are withdrawing from the country after 20 years of military operations.

Of the 437 British troops killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001, at least 394 have been killed as a result of hostile action.