As the latest Nato-Afghan push against the Taliban gets underway, the spotlight is turned onto the young medical teams struggling to save lives and
keep up morale in remote outposts.
Two-thirds of those serving in Afghanistan were still in school when the US declared war on the Taliban eight years ago. A young surgeon tells jokes
as he struggles to stitch up a bleeding wound. There's a familiarity with the war given away by typical medics black humour and irreverence. This
isnt my first rodeo, Ive done this before. However, not far beneath the surface of the jokes lies an increasing bewilderment about the purpose of this
war. In terms of what were doing here now, its not clear to me that we have an overall end point that makes sense. When injured patients arrive at
this remote field hospital, there is a golden hour in which to save their lives. After that time, their chances are slim. The group are under immense
emotional and physical stress, and the latest surge by US and British troops has them worried. They say theyre bracing themselves for the bloody
consequences, but it is clear from this confronting report that their gung-ho attitude has its limits.
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