Taliban statements endanger him and his family

Prince Harry has revealed details of the Afghanistan mission in his memoirs. Is his family now at increased security risk?

Ever since Harry left the British royal family, he’s been on his own. His wife Meghan, their children Archie and Lilibet: Harry can no longer have this family protected by the crown – because with the withdrawal from the innermost circle of the royal family, the exiles in California no longer have any claims to benefits. Since then, Harry has also been paying security personnel out of his own pocket.

A topic that is now more explosive than ever. The father of two and the youngest son of the British king revealed in his memoirs that he killed 25 people as a soldier in Afghanistan. “It was nothing that made me happy, but also nothing that I was ashamed of,” Harry wrote according to information from the broadcaster Sky News.

Afghanistan, Camp Bastion 2012: Britain's Prince Harry, or Captain Wales as he was known in the British Army, runs out of the VHR tent towards the Apache helicopter.
Afghanistan, Camp Bastion 2012: Britain’s Prince Harry, or Captain Wales as he was known in the British Army, runs out of the VHR tent towards the Apache helicopter. (Source: John Stillwell/dpa)

In 2012 and 2013, Harry was a helicopter gunship crew member in Afghanistan, where he is said to have killed the Taliban. Harry likened enemy fighters to chess pieces being removed from the board. “Bad guys eliminated before they could kill good guys,” Harry wrote.

Statements like these pose a security risk, after all, the Taliban could be plotting revenge on the prince. A senior Taliban member has accused Harry of war crimes. Taliban official Anas Hakkani wrote on Twitter on Friday that the fighters killed by Harry were not pawns but people. “They had families waiting for their return,” Hakkani wrote.

Especially since the Taliban are anything but powerless. After the withdrawal of western soldiers in 2021, they control the fate of Afghanistan and hold all the reins in their hands.

British military officials are appalled by Harry’s statements. The king’s son violated an unwritten military law to provide information on the number of people killed. “I don’t think it’s wise that he said that out loud,” British Marine veteran Ben McBean told Sky News, citing safety concerns. Retired officer Richard Kemp told the BBC Harry’s statements showed poor judgment. In doing so, the prince may be helping those “who want to harm the British troops and the British government”.

Prince Harry was “very stupid”.

Another British military expert is also worried about the safety of the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf. “I expect the level of threat will definitely be higher,” former Navy Admiral Alan West told the Sunday Mirror newspaper. Because of Harry’s statements, there will be “serious security issues” for the September event. “Measures will have to be taken to protect the veterans,” West said. The prince was “very stupid” to publish details about the killings.

The state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to host the sports festival for war-disabled athletes in September 2023, which Harry helped initiate. It remains unclear whether there will be increased security precautions in Düsseldorf because of the explosive danger and what about Harry’s private security service for his family in Montecito, California. Perhaps the 38-year-old will decide not to say any more about it this time – even if three television interviews with Harry have already been announced in the coming days and it remains to be seen what the prince will unpack next.