Prince Harry's comments about his time in Afghanistan in an upcoming book have drawn ire.
In the book, Harry said he killed 25 people in Afghanistan and did not feel embarrassed about it.
British veterans accused him of breaking military code, and the Taliban lashed out at him.
Former member of the British Royal Family Prince Harry ruffled feathers with cavalier comments about killing dozens of people during his time serving in Afghanistan in an upcoming memoir, drawing outcry from the likes of the Taliban and members of the British armed forces.
In excerpts of his upcoming memoir "Spare," reviewed by the Associated Press, the Duke of Sussex spills details about his family and personal life, with a section focused on his time serving with the British Royal Army in Afghanistan. Harry's comments that he viewed the 25 people he killed as pieces of a chess game or "baddies eliminated before they could get to goodies," were not well received, according to the Associated Press.
"It seemed to me essential not to be afraid of that number. So my number is 25. It's not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me," Harry wrote in the book, adding that he did not think of the deceased as people, and that he watched footage to verify the number of deaths. He served as an air controller from 2007-2008 and as an attack helicopter pilot between 2012-2013 during his two tours in Afghanistan.
He also described his time in the military as the happiest time in his life, where he was allowed to be "one of the guys," according to the AP. The comments drew the ire of British veterans, who mostly felt that Harry should not have shared his death toll publicly.
A rep for Prince Harry did not immediately return Insider's request for comment. The memoir's official release is January 10, 2023.
Retired Colonel Richard Kemp told the BBC on Friday that the comments don't reflect "the way the British Army trains people," and that sharing them was "an error of judgment." Kemp added that the information could be "valuable" to members of the Taliban. And retired Royal Navy Chris Parry told the AP that the comments were "distasteful."
Arash Azizzada, the co-founder of NGO Afghans For A Better Tomorrow, told Insider that the statement was "shocking yet unsurprising."
"It is shocking yet unsurprising to hear Prince Harry speak so flippantly about his military service in Afghanistan, especially considering the UK's 20-year long occupation helped bring the Taliban back to power last summer. His inhumane rhetoric is why Afghans gave born the brunt of war for so long and at such a high cost," Azzizada told Insider. "Rather than brag about his military exploits, he should urge his native country to actually implement the Afghan resettlement scheme — the number of folks resettled by the UK government currently stands at zero, despite the promise of 20,000 slots. Until that happens, Afghans are reluctant to listen to his experiences in a war that has come at an unspeakable cost for Afghans."
Veterans who knew Harry shared the sentiment that he had broken military code.
"I don't think it is wise that he said that out loud," Ben McBean, a veteran of the Royal Marines who knew Harry said, according to the AP. "He's already got a target on his back, more so than anyone else."
The Taliban — the extremist group that has imposed a regressive, iron rule in Afghanistan — also expressed outrage at the comments.
"Mr. Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return, " Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban leader, tweeted on Friday.
Harry and Meghan Markle lost access to British taxpayer-funded security when they defected from the Royal Family in 2020, and he has since sued the government over its unwillingness to provide security detail for him when in UK territory.
Read the original article on Insider