Published: May 18th 2010May 18th 2010
Chris Carter, Daniel Saville and David Taylor
. Three men who, as I write, may have lost their lives in the crash of the Pamir Air flight from Kunduz to Kabul on Monday 17th May. The three Britishers were members of the security team for the company that I'm currently advising here. Chris Carter was the senior security manager, a former paratrooper, Dan Saville and David Taylor worked for the security contractor Global Security. David had only been in Afghanistan a couple of weeks because he wanted a change from Iraq. Dan Saville was thinking about leaving the industry and setting up his own business in Manchester, looking after celebrity footballers.
Dan and I became good friends; he is a friendly, open-hearted man and all of us 'newbies' liked him. He provided our close protection at the hotel we stayed in near the protected work compound in Kabul. Forced to stay in at night because of security considerations we would sit and chat, often about the army; Dan is a former Coldstream Guardsman. He's a big man, both physically and of heart; always the perfect gentleman going that bit further than he needed to so he could make sure we had the best rooms and that we newcomers understood the security ropes. Leaving for Kandahar I still had no body armour to fit, so Dan lent me his own which I still have. It was typical of the man.
I pray that they are found alive
. The plane apparently went down in severe weather near the Salang Pass north of Kabul in some of the most inhospitable country in the world with mountain peaks up to 14,000 feet.
Dan and his colleagues gave their lives for the project my colleagues and I are working on - one of the largest civil initiatives in Afghanistan aimed at winning hearts and minds away from the Taliban. I hope the project is worth the cost - the politicians and bureaucrats and the Afghans themselves better make it so.
Three very good men may have died doing a job designed to protect the rest of our team. Yes, it was a job and these men are professionals and know the risks - as do all of us working out here. But there is also this sense of dreadful, needless waste. For the first time I truly understand the fact that this is a war and that war destroys the best of us.