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21 Jun 06. Brown backs Trident replacement. Trident will be decommissioned by about 2024. Gordon Brown has signalled that he wants to keep and renew Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent. The Trident missile system and the Vanguard submarines which carry them need replacing by 2024 and a decision is set to be taken in the next year. Estimates of the cost vary from £10bn to £25bn, depending on what type of new missiles or submarines are chosen. Mr Brown’s intervention has enraged critics, who say Trident has no use now the Soviet Cold War threat is over. Labour had a manifesto commitment to retain an independent nuclear deterrent but it only applies until the next general election. Mr Brown, seen as the most likely next prime minister, has sparked new debate on the issue by highlighting his personal commitment to replace Trident. In his Mansion House speech in the City of London, He said Britain would show a “national purpose” in protecting its security. “Strong in defence in fighting terrorism, upholding NATO, supporting our armed forces at home and abroad, and retaining our independent nuclear deterrent,” he said. “In an insecure would we must and we will always have the strength to take all necessary long term decisions to ensure both stability and security.” It is thought Mr Brown wants anti-nuclear campaigners to know he is just as committed to replacing Trident as Tony Blair. BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Brown’s words would take the heat off the prime minister, who could have produced “uproar” if he had made the same announcement. (Source: BBC)

14 Jun 06.Iraq: OP TELIC. There are “some 7,200” British troops in Iraq. (Focus (MoD), June 2006.) “Around 240” personnel have been wounded as a result of hostile action and treated at the Shaibah Field Hospital. (Ministerial Answer (MA, 14 Jun 06.) 732 personnel were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq in 2005. (MA, 14 Jun 06.)
Comment: The MoD has confirmed that the May 2006 changeover (for Telic 8) involved the chartering of civilian passenger aircraft and additional shipping. The MoD’s Roll-on Roll-off vessels had been tasked with supporting the Afghanistan deployment. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0624, 19 Jun 06)

15 Jun 06. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The surface element of the deployment to Southern Afghanistan was completed when the last of 1,823 trucks arrived after travelling a combined distance from Karachi of over 2.5 million miles, carrying 2,806 containers and 554 wheeled loads. Only six vehicles broke down, with another three involved in accidents. (DLO News, June 2006.) A Captain from 7 Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery was killed during a fire fight in Helmand Province on 11 Jun 06. The number of UK deaths since the start of Operations in November 2001 thus rose to eight (five accidentally and three killed in action). All the dead were in the Army (one in the Royal Artillery, one in the Royal Signals, four in the Infantry and two in the Royal Logistic Corps). (MoD, 11 & 13 Jun 06.) The Defence Secretary visited Helmand Province and Kabul on 12/13 Jun 06. (MoD.) The Defence Secretary announced (15 Jun 06) that the 130-strong 34 Squadron, RAF Regiment would deploy to Kandahar Airfield “within the next few weeks”. The Squadron would assist Afghan, Canadian, Romanian and US Forces in defending the Airfield and the surrounding area. (The Airfield is the centre of the UK’s logistical support in Southern Afghanistan and the base for some 500 UK personnel.) (MoD, 15 Jun 06.)
Comment: The Defence Committee published (15 Jun 06) the Government’s Response to its Report on ‘The UK Deployment to Afghanistan’, which had been published on 6 Apr 06 as HC 558. The Response, published as HC 1211 for £4:50, will only be of passing interest to those who acquired the original Report. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0624, 19 Jun 06)

20 Jun 06. UK arms makers to join call for treaty. An unusual coalition of Britain’s governmen

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