After the British prince claimed in his memoir that he had killed 25 individuals in Afghanistan while serving as a military helicopter pilot and referred to them as “chess pieces eliminated from the board,” the Taliban government criticised Prince Harry.
The deeply personal book “Spare” by Harry was released in Spain a few days before it was released worldwide on January 10. It reveals the extent of the conflict between the prince and his heir apparent brother William, among other revelations about drug use and how the prince lost his virginity.
Members of the military community responded angrily to the prince’s remarks, warning that they would endanger his safety and damage the prestige of the British Army.
Former British Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch, who served in that capacity from 2016 to 2019, claimed to have counselled Harry against making the words in a statement to Sky News. The same network also received comments from Colonel Richard Kemp, a retired British army officer, who claimed they “tarnished” his image and “unjustly” depicted the British Army in an unfavourable light.
The 38-year-old describes his two tours of duty in Afghanistan—the first as a forward air controller in 2007–2008 and the second as a co-pilot gunner in Apache attack helicopters—and the number of casualties he caused in one region.
According to the book’s Spanish translation, Harry stated that ”the statistic didn’t make him feel particularly proud or ashamed. “I didn’t think of those 25 as humans until I found myself engulfed in the heat and confusion of warfare.”
“Bad individuals were eliminated before they could kill Good people. They were taken off the board like chess pieces.”
The remarks were criticised by Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a spokesman for the Taliban-run Afghan foreign ministry.
‘Mr. Harry!’ Asserting the prince of committing “war crimes,” Haqqani wrote, “The ones you killed were not chess pieces; they were humans.”
“The western occupation of Afghanistan is truly an odious moment in human history and comments by Prince Harry are a microcosm of the trauma experienced by Afghans at the hands of occupation forces who murdered innocents without any accountability,” he remarked.