Prince Harry Deserves Some Credit

In this image made available in London, Thursday Feb. 28, 2008, Britain's Prince Harry mans a 50mm machinegun, at an observation post close to Forward Operating Base Delhi, in Afghanistan, on Wednesday Jan. 2, 2008.
AP Photo/John Stillwell, pool
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
So Prince Harry is in Afghanistan. It's a big deal because he is, after all, a royal.

But, also because he meant what he said all those months ago about serving with his mates - Afghanistan may have fallen off the front pages of our papers, but it is no picnic.

U.S. intelligence officials estimate that President Hamid Karzai's government only controls about 30 percent of the country. The rest is run by tribes, and another 10 or 11 percent by the Taliban.

Last year more than 6,500 people were killed in Afghanistan as were 222 foreign troops. 2007 was the deadliest year in the country since it was invaded soon after 9/11. Even the safest places in Afghanistan aren't safe. Road side bombs, insurgent attacks, kidnappings - all pretty routine.

So Harry is in hot water, in a country fueled by the cash from its heroine industry and a widespread distrust - if not hatred - for all things western.

The Prince deserves real credit…it would have been easy not to go.
By Harry Smith