Britain's most senior military officer said yesterday it was no surprise the Afghan campaign was costing lives.
Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Sir Jock Stirrup said he had not expected the operation to be easy and loss of life was a sad but inevitable consequence of military force.
Despite the losses, on the bloodiest day for British forces since deployment, he said he would not hesitate to send more troops to the country if commanders felt it was necessary.
Sir Jock said: "It is turning out pretty much the way we foresaw. I know some people claim we said this was going to be easy; I certainly never said that and never believed it.
"We knew it was going to be difficult, we knew we were going to take casualties, so there's been no surprise at that. Casualties are always extremely sad and are something we all mourn."