Exactly one year ago, I wrote and posted for the first time on this blog.
What started out – on a recommendation from my wife – as a forum to set the record straight on numerous issues that have bothered (and still bother) me has grown somewhat beyond my expectations.
I have had some excellent comments from those who follow the blog and also some (very valid) reprimands. As a whole, I am happy with the way things are going as I am still able to voice my opinions and concerns – and in the process learn from so many different visitors from across the globe.
However, over the past year I have, unfortunately, had to banish some from the blog who have not realised that this is a serious look at military and security affairs.
My concerns lie primarily with the soldiers and security officers who I believe are often neglected by their political masters and when things turn bad, have to take the blame for poorly formulated strategies and sometimes inexcusable and inexplicably poor political decisions. Sometimes senior officers also need to take responsibility for poor decisions and for not having the backbone to stand up for their troops and ensure that they get the correct equipment at the correct place and time.When this support is lacking and casualties rise, morale will be affected.
The lot of the soldier – be it in an armed force or as a contractor in a PMC – is not an easy one. But, we never put ourselves out there because we thought it would be easy. We know the role of the politicians and the senior officers and we know our role – and we accept it with stoicism. However, if I, in a small way, can contribute to saving the lives of soldiers with some small bit of advice, irrespective of where they are deployed, I will feel that the blog has not been in vain.
The blog has allowed me to re-establish contact with some fellow-soldiers I last saw many years ago and also to make new friends and contacts throughout the world. With followers and daily visitors from 98 countries, I feel honoured to be able to “speak” to so many about things I believe in – even though not everyone agrees with me – and, as far as I am concerned, that is healthy.
I have, over the course of the year, received several suggestions from those who follow this blog on what they would like me to write about. Some of these issues I have tried to cover and some I will still get to. Some, especially where purely political in nature, I shall not debate as I am not a politician – and have no intention of becoming one.
To those who visit the blog simply to read it or to make comments - you have all contributed to making this a good year.
My sincerest thanks to each and every one of you.