In a ceremony on Sunday it was announced that UK combat operations in Afghanistan had officially ceased. The main British base, camp Bastion, was handed over and is now under Afghan control, marking the end of a 13-year military campaign in which British and American troops have clashed with Taliban insurgents. With Afghan police and armed forces now numbering around 300,000, British strategists are confident that they can continue the fight against the Taliban and win.
The very last British troops left Bastion earlier today, carrying the Union jack with them. US personnel also left, leaving control entirely in the hands of Afghan forces.
For a stark and frank account of what life is like for soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, take a look at David Wiseman's recent book 'Helmand to the Himalayas.' Told with compassion and style as well as grit and brutal honesty, it is the perfect window into the experience of the everyday soldier fighting in Afghanistan.
Another intimate and revealing account of the experiences of the forces in Afghanistan is Helmand: Diaries of Front-Line Soldiers. As the title suggests it is a collection of authentic diary entries from Royal Marines recorded during their tour of duty in Helmand province.
For more information on the UK/US-Afghan handover, please visit this BBC article on the subject