Colonel Simon Fordham: When I look back on this, this was a remarkable operation. It was a remarkable operation for a number of things. It was the first operation of the 21st century. It showed quite clearly what we now take for granted, that the adversary that we often have to fight against now is not somebody that takes any consequence of international rules of law or accepted ways of military conduct, that it's in a very difficult place, it's on the other side of the world, it's a completely different environment to what most people are used to, and very difficult for people back at home to understand actually what's going on.
The operation was a tremendous success because it was carried out by people that were highly skilled and had the motivation of rescuing fellow soldiers. It was a difficult and daring operation that went particularly well.
And I think it's fair to say that, with subsequent operations in Iraq and subsequent operations in Afghanistan, this was the first kind of dirty and dangerous operation that reminded a lot of people that whilst we had been involved in quite a lot of counter-revolutionary and counter-terrorist operations, we hadn't had this kind of close-quarter fighting with the enemy for a long time. And it was to prove very worthwhile, in particular for those people that were involved in the operation because quite quickly afterwards they were deployed on other operations where they had similar kinds of contacts.Back to article