Day 3 of the Daily Mail’s Serialisation of White Flag?, Lord Ashcroft’s latest book on the UK’s defence capability

First published in the Daily Mail on Tuesday 25 September 2018.

Our heroes’ new enemy? The lawyers on a mission to sue them.

Donors who gave blood to the NHS might have been surprised to find out their good deed could have been saving the Taliban.

During the Afghanistan war, large volumes of blood collected here were sent to the field hospital in Helmand province, where it was used to treat both our own soldiers and the men trying to kill them.

This strange state of affairs encapsulates the contradictions of war fought with honour — and, increasingly, war fought with an eye on the law.

British surgeons at Camp Bastion went to extraordinary lengths to save wounded enemy fighters — and rightly so.

It was their duty under the Geneva Convention but also the moral thing to do, even if it meant patching up injured Afghan insurgents and enabling them to return to their deadly activities planting more roadside bombs.

Army doctors and medics accepted their humanitarian obligations, approaching each patient as a medical challenge rather than an individual who might be on the wrong side of the war.

Nonetheless, they were acutely aware that the enemy did not share the same standards.

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