25 Jul 06. Iraq: OP TELIC. The UK plays a lead role in providing training and support for the Iraqi Navy, including the provision of a Naval Assistance and Training Team at Umm Qasr Naval Base. RN warships and RFA support vessels will continue to form part of the Task Force overseeing the security of the oil platforms until the Iraqi Navy is ready to accept full responsibility. In the longer term, a capable Air Force is planned to form an important element of Iraq’s Armed Forces. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 25 Jul 06.) 25 members of the Armed Forces had been killed on OP TELIC as a result of Improvised Explosive Devices. (MA, 25 Jul 06.) A Corporal from 1st Bn The Light Infantry died on 1 Aug 06 as a result of wounds sustained during a mortar attack on a Basrah base. (MoD, 1 Aug 06.) The number of UK deaths since the start of hostilities thus rose to 115 (six from natural causes, 37 accidentally, six from friendly fire and 66 killed in action).
Comment: In a ‘leaked’ document the outgoing British Ambassador to Iraq concluded that the country was closer to civil war and partition than to democracy. Subsequently (3 Aug 06) two senior US Generals, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Commander of US Forces in the Middle East (i.e. Central Command), warned the Senate Armed Services Committee of an Iraqi slide into civil war. A sword of Damocles is suspended over the most senior US Officers, none of whom wishes to be remembered as a latter day General William C Westmoreland. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0630, 07 Aug 06)
01 Aug 06. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) assumed command of the Southern region of Afghanistan from US-led Coalition Forces on 31 Jul 06. Regional Command South consists of six Provinces: Day Kundi, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul. NATO-ISAF nations operating in the South are: Australia, Canada, Estonia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania, the UK and the US. Regional Command South will have about 8,000 troops out of an ISAF total of 18,500. The 18,000-strong US-led Coalition retains responsibility for the 13 Eastern Provinces, known as Regional Command East. (NATO, 31 Jul 06.) B Company, 5th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland deployed (31 Jul 06) for a three month tour in Kabul where they have relieved C Company 40 Commando for Force Protection duties at Camp Souter. (MoD, 1 Aug 06.) A Royal Horse Artillery Captain, a Life Guards Second Lieutenant and a Blues and Royals Lance Corporal were killed when their vehicle patrol was attacked in the North of Helmand Province on 1 Aug 06. (MoD, 2 Aug 06.) The number of UK deaths since the start of Operations in November 2001 thus rose to 16 (five accidentally and 11 killed in action).
Comment: As well as retaining responsibility for Regional Command East, the US-led Coalition has also kept its counter-terrorist mission for the whole of Afghanistan. (NATO PR 096 of 31 Jul 06.) Dual responsibility for some areas of the country sounds like a recipe for military disaster. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0630, 07 Aug 06)
08 Aug 06. Defence firm protesters arrested. Nine anti-war protesters who have been occupying the Londonderry offices of the defence company, Raytheon have been arrested by police. They have been taken to police stations in the city and in Coleraine. The Derry Anti-War Coalition had been throwing computer equipment and documents out of first floor windows. The protesters claimed “weapons manufactured by Raytheon were being used by Israel to bomb Lebanon”. The company is a leading weapons manufacturer, although it has said its Derry operation is involved in software for air traffic control systems. The facility was previously occupied by people demonstrating against the use of Raytheon weapons in Iraq. Raytheon, a US firm, makes the Patriot, Tomahawk, Cruise and Sidewinder missiles. However, the company has said its Derry operation is limited to s