| Sarah Bryant was the first female British soldier killed in Afghanistan
The UK’s operation in Afghanistan is “worthless” and akin to the start of the Vietnam war, former SAS commander Maj Sebastian Morley has said.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said the government had “blood on its hands” over the “unnecessary” deaths of four soldiers.
BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said many on the ground felt the campaign has been “under-resourced”.
But the MoD insisted the security challenge was “manageable”.
The former SAS commander resigned after Cpl Sarah Bryant and three of her colleagues died when their Snatch Land Rover hit an anti-tank mine in Helmand province in June 2008.
Cpl Bryant was the first female soldier to die in Afghanistan.
|| We go out on operations, have a punch-up with the Taleban and then go back to camp for tea. We are not holding the ground
Maj Sebastian Morley
Maj Morley, 40, said he was compelled to stand down after Quentin Davies, the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, told an “unacceptable lie” in the wake of the deaths.
Mr Davies had said commanders had a choice of vehicles, although he has subsequently said he had not meant to cause any offence.
Speaking for the first time since his resignation, Maj Morley launched a scathing attack on the state of the military campaign as a whole.
“This is the equivalent to the start of the Vietnam conflict, there is much more to come.
“We hold tiny areas of ground in Helmand and we are kidding ourselves if we think our influence goes beyond 500 metres of our security bases.
“We go out on operations, have a punch-up with the Taleban and then go back to camp for tea. We are not holding the ground.”
And, addressing the use of Snatch Land Rovers, which he deemed to be unsafe and prompted his decision to stand down, he said: “I had to resign.
“I had warned (the MoD) time and time again that there were going to be needless deaths if we were not given the right equipment, and they ignored this advice. There is blood on their hands.
“There was no other vehicle to use. The simple truth is that the protection on these vehicles is inadequate and this led to the unnecessary deaths.”