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NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

19 Apr 06. Iraq: OP TELIC. From March 2003 to December 2005 inclusive, 6,609 UK military and civilian personnel were admitted to the Shaibah Field Hospital of whom 226 were categorised as wounded in action. 65 UK military personnel were admitted to the Field Hospital in January 2006, of whom five were categorised as wounded in action. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 19 Apr 06.)From March 2003 to December 2005 inclusive up to 4,000 UK military and civilian personnel, including a small number of Iraqis, were medically evacuated from Iraq. The figure for January and February 2006 was 133. The majority of the casualty evacuations were not the result of hostile action. (MA, 25 Apr 06.)
Cities and Provinces will progressively return to full Iraqi control, as determined by Iraqi Government decisions and not by any predetermined timetable from the UK. (MA, 27 Apr 06.) Comment: The US Congressional Research Service estimated (25 Apr 06) that the cost of the campaign in Iraq is set to rise to $319,900m (£177,000m). Annual costs to the US were given as: 2002 – $2,500m;
2003 – $51,000m; 2004 – $77,300m; 2005 – $87,300m and 2006 – $101,800m. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0617, 01 May 06)

24 Apr 06. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. During a three-day visit to Afghanistan (23-25 Apr 06) the Defence Secretary went to Helmand Province as well as Kabul. Discussions were held with President Karzai and his Defence Minister. (MoD, 24 Apr 06.) Since 2001 there have been 33 aeromedical evacuations from Afghanistan, the majority of which were not as a result of hostile action. (MA, 25 Apr 06.)
There are currently no plans to send Jaguar aircraft to Afghanistan. (MA, 25 Apr 06.) The deployment of six Harrier GR7 aircraft to Kandahar is to be extended from June 2006 to 31 Mar 07. The aircraft will continue to be drawn from No 1 Squadron RAF until October 2006, when tasking is to be handed over to 800 Naval Air Squadron. (MoD, 25 Apr 06.) The Government has no credible evidence of direct support by the Pakistani Government to insurgents in Helmand Province. (MA, 27 Apr 06.) Comment: According to the MoD, “both NATO and coalition Commanders” requested an extension to the Harrier deployment. Quite apart from anything else, the runway at Kandahar is in such a poor condition that it can only be used by tactical transport aircraft and Harriers. The Defence Secretary has defined (20 Mar 06) the terms ‘insurgents’ and ‘terrorists’ in the context of UK military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. ‘Insurgents’ generally refers to those violently opposing Government authority and the rule of law in the particular country or countries where they live. ‘Terrorists’ are those connected to a specific, named terrorist organisation which is recognised as such by the UK or by the international community and who may or may not be engaged in violence against the Government of the country where they live. It is possible that an individual may choose both to be part of a terrorist group and to participate in an insurgency. (As though this wasn’t confusing enough, the Defence Secretary said that it was recognised that the two terms were often used interchangeably in common usage!) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0617, 01 May 06)

27 Apr 06. Warnings over USB memory sticks. US military secrets were found in USB sticks on sale outside airbase. Smart phones, iPods and USB memory sticks are posing a real risk for businesses, warn security experts. Just over half of companies take no steps to secure data held on these devices, found a UK government-backed security survey. Now security firms are developing ways to help firms control access to the confidential data held on the gadgets. They are also working on ways to stop the devices being used by viruses as a way to bypass other digital defences. Figures from the Information Security Breaches Survey, which is backed by the Department of Trade and Industry, reveals how firms are struggling to control the

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