When I found myself as part of the Bravo Two Zero patrol trapped behind enemy lines in Iraq, I found that everything was as I’d been told it would be. I followed all the Standard Operation Procedures, the orientation, survival, evasion and fighting techniques I had been taught in the SAS and I am certain that is what made the difference, that it why I managed to get away.
But as soon as I got I home my suspicions were aroused. We few surviving members of the operation were given a thousand pounds each and told to go off on holiday. This was the authorities telling us to keep quiet. A truckload of medals were handed out too – another sure sign a cock up is being covered up.
The more I looked into it, the more I realized that the Bravo Two Zero mission had been doomed from the start. Our political masters had not thought it through and as a result we weren’t prepared to get involved in that operation. We have a saying – the 5 ps - prior planning prevents piss-poor performance - and no matter how high the calibre of the men doing the fighting, many of them will get captured or die if the prior planning is not good enough. That is what happened in Iraq.
Cock ups are one thing, but what makes me really angry is when soldiers are not told the truth about what we they are being asked to do – when things are not as they seem. The SAS are asked to do some terrible things. In fact all the shady things you might imagine the SAS gets up to, we have done in real life. The men of the SAS are regularly asked to do things which would be illegal for any private citizen. Some of these things will scar you for life, physically and mentally. You do them because that is your duty. But time and time again the men on the ground are betrayed because they are not told the truth and then when things go wrong they are abandoned and left to their own devices. That is what I write about in my books.