And how was this action presented to the British people? Let us remember the words of Dr John Reid in April of last year:
The rate at which British soldiers are being seriously injured or killed on the front line in Afghanistan is about to pass that suffered by our troops during the Second World War.
The casualty rate in the most dangerous regions of the country is approaching 10 per cent. Senior officers fear it will ultimately pass the 11 per cent experienced by British soldiers at the height of the conflict 60 years ago.
"We would be perfectly happy to leave in three years and without firing one shot because our job is to protect the reconstruction."