Prince Harry criticised by former CIA chief for Afghan admission

Prince Harry has been criticized by the former head of the CIA after he revealed how many Taliban fighters he killed in Afghanistan.

Leon Panetta, a former US Defense Secretary, said Harry should have “focused on the mission” rather than the number of people he had killed.

He told Piers Morgan on TalkTV: “I have to tell you that the strongest warriors I knew in battle were those who focused on the mission, not how many individuals they killed.

“Prince Harry would have done better to focus on the missions he was involved in…Harry could have handled this better as a soldier.

“I think that when you start to detail how many you have killed, that becomes the issue. And what I am offended by, frankly, is the distortion focusing on the number of kills rather than the mission.

“If in some way he could rewrite this or include the mission spec he was involved in without referring to the number of people he killed that would be a fairer description.

“I’m sure he performed well and served his country. But saying how many people killed detracts from the mission and from the service he provided.”

Harry attracted criticism from a number of military experts after claiming he had killed 25 Taliban fighters.

In the book, he said he didn’t see the men he killed as “humans” but as “chess pieces being wiped off a board”.

Earlier this month, Harry defended his decision to discuss his time in Afghanistan.

He told People Magazine: “I don’t know that you ever fully reconcile the painful elements of being at war.

“This is something each soldier has to confront, and in the nearly two decades of working alongside service personnel and veterans, I’ve listened to their stories and have shared mine. In these conversations, we often talk about the parts of our service that haunt us — the lives lost, the lives taken.

“But also the parts of our service that heal us and the lives we’ve saved.”

“There’s truly no right or wrong way to try and navigate these feelings, but I know from my own healing journey that silence has been the least effective remedy,” he added. “Expressing and detailing my experience is how I chose to deal with it, in the hopes it would help others.”

However, Prince Harry’s admission has been jumped on by diplomatic opponents to the UK in recent weeks.

Upon the book’s release, Taliban officials hit out at Harry. Now, Iran has done the same.

The Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday: “The British regime, whose royal family member, sees the killing of 25 innocent people as removal of chess pieces and has no regrets over the issue, and those who turn a blind eye to this war crime, are in no position to preach others on human rights.”

The comment came after Iran was condemned for executing British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari after accusing him of working for MI6. Mr Akbari denied these allegations.

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