Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb is the former Director of the UK Special Forces and the former Deputy Commander of US forces in Iraq.
Here he explains why, according to him, the decision of the United States to withdraw their troops from Syria and to abandon the Kurds who helped fight the Islamic State is shameful.
I met Captain Lewis "Bucky" or "Buckshot" Burruss Jnr of the United States in the fall of 1977, in an old wooden building that can accommodate a mess of officers at Bradbury Lines.
We were both choosing SAS, but the contrast could not be more striking, either in terms of age or experience. It was a highly decorated special forces officer and I was not there. Yet, as I knew my American arms brother, our view of things could not have been more similar.
Four decades of common values that underpinned our vision at the time and which, for more than a century, nobly served the collective goals of the US and British armed forces, are now at stake, not among the people in uniform, but under the current US administration.
Of course, the United States must do what they think is right.
But all it stands for – a beacon for so many other like-minded nations and alliances – is part of its own defense and broader collective defense; that's who we are.
Such an interrogation was unimaginable in 1977 when Bucky and I tried to be part of the Special Air Service (SAS).
The difference in operational experience was significant. He had been commissioned in 1966, had made two long tours in Vietnam and received the Silver Star, four bronze stars, the air medal and three Vietnamese gallantry crosses.
On the other hand, myself, I had returned in 1971 to the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, in blazer.
Bucky retired from Delta Force in 1987, while working in Her Majesty's Armed Forces for 38 years, seeking to imitate, albeit ever close, his tremendous military courage and exceptional leadership.
However, we met as equals and, from day one, it is the moral battleground – where values are put to the test and where the character is built. There we were like two peas in a pod.
We believed fiercely in duty, honor, and sacrifice. We understood that freedom was not – and never was – free, and considered that what we do and what we defend in life is ultimately the measure of its value.
Such unconditional willingness to fight for something greater than oneself is of paramount importance in a world that too often rewards greed, vanity and superficiality.
Bucky and I acted with the simple – but liberating – understanding that luck, opportunity and sometimes injustice would affect every decision, every action and every outcome of our military life.
We did not ask for recognition of any other than ours and we did not serve for reasons of wealth or prestige. The profession of soldier was a vocation, a vocation.
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg speech, delivered in one of the darkest hours of America, best sums up the obligation of every nation to become so, and to respect its ideals.
It also reminds us of the singular importance of personal devotion: "Four years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in freedom and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal ( …)
"It is for us, the living, rather than being consecrated here to unfinished work that those who fought here have so far nobly advanced.
"It is rather for us that we are here devoted to the great task that remains to be done: that we take more and more devoted among the memory of these dead honored for the cause for which they have given the full measure of their devotion did not die in vain – that this nation, under God, will have a new birth of freedom – and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, do not perish from the earth. "
With the end of the civil war, the United States attended a meeting of a nation – a slow and flawed process that would allow former enemies to defend later, side by side, what the country defended.
These individuals are no different from the men and women who today make up the United States Armed Forces.
These soldiers, sailors, airmen and navies represent the soul of America. They have chosen to serve others, far beyond the borders of their country, and to fight for and alongside those who share the same values.
As with most old soldiers, Bucky and I are not very good at keeping in touch or spending a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror. But I know that the old dog is still booming – despite his legendary consumption habits, his revolting golf etiquette and his stubborn determination to live life to the full and choose the one he chose.
He defended and illustrated a nation that I thought I knew and understood. Indeed, in my day, I had the honor and privilege of fighting alongside so many great Americans – determined, dedicated and courageous people, much like Bucky.
From where my struggle to understand, right now, for whom and for what America is fighting. Has the United States lost their way, forgotten their past, embraced the superficial and given up the essence of what once made this country "a city on a hill"?
America led the free world, went to the moon and defeated Communism not because it was easy, but because it was difficult. It was something we all recognized and loved, providing a solid foundation in a sea of constant change and daunting challenges.
The United States has also built trust-based alliances and common interests with vastly different peoples, all of whom share the conviction of the democratic promise of the United States.
So many of them are now disoriented, blocked and threatened with death because they chose to defend the United States.
Of course, there is no clearer and more egregious example of such dishonor that the fate of the Kurdish people, who suffered 11,000 casualties when they controlled ISIS, suffered the shock of fighting, has secured thousands of square kilometers and millions of barbarians' hold, while saving hundreds of American lives.
Our comrades deserve far better than the shameful treatment they received from those whom they once called friends. This is not Bucky America.