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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

06 Nov 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. “My Government will continue to work with the Government of Iraq to deliver security, political reconciliation and economic reconstruction.” (Queen’s Speech, Item 1.)
Comment: The Associated Press reported (6 Nov 07) that the number of US troops killed in Iraq in 2007 had reached 851, making this year the most lethal since the Campaign began. The total number of US troops killed now exceeds 3,850. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0744, 12 Nov 07)

09 Nov 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. “My Government will continue to support the Government of Afghanistan as it tackles extremism, instability and the narcotics trade.” (Queen’s Speech, Item 1.)
A Lance Corporal from 36 Engineer Regiment was killed on 9 Nov 07 in Southern Afghanistan when his vehicle rolled off a bridge. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 83, of whom 54 have been classified as killed in Action and three as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD, 10 Nov 07.)
52 Infantry Brigade Commander, Brigadier A D (Andrew) MacKay OBE, assumed control of Task Force Helmand on 10 Oct 07. (MoD, 6 Nov 07.)
Comment: The International Development Committee is to take evidence on development assistance for Afghanistan at 10.30hrs on Thu 15 Nov 07 in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0744, 12 Nov 07)

08 Nov 07. Ex-chiefs demand more Forces cash. Britain’s armed forces are over-stretched and under-funded, a group of former senior military leaders and politicians has warned. They have formed the UK National Defence Association, led by three ex-chiefs of the defence staff. One of them, Gen Lord Guthrie, told BBC News: “We are quite honestly struggling. I don’t know much longer the forces can go on like this.” The group says defence spending should be about 3% of gross domestic product. The defence budget has been set at £34bn for next year – about 2% of GDP. In addition to Lord Guthrie, its patrons are former defence chiefs Admiral Lord Boyce and Marshal of the RAF Lord Craig, as well as ex-foreign secretary Lord Owen. Other prominent supporters include Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, and Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP who serves as a defence adviser to the prime minister. Lord Guthrie, who served as chief of the defence staff under both Labour and Conservative governments, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme military spending was not enough to meet the needs of service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. He added: “If they are struggling, we are in danger of damaging one of the priceless assets of of our country.
“Resupplying an army in the field like in Afghanistan is not like stocking shelves at Tesco. This is an extremely complicated and dangerous thing to do.” Lord Boyce – who was chief of defence staff during the 2003 Iraq invasion – said military personnel needed to be retained once they had joined the armed forces. “We’re finding at the moment that the forces are at full stretch and we can expect to be in Afghanistan for many years ahead. “We need to recruit soldiers, sailors and airmen and we need to retain them when they come in. “If people are seeing that the government is not prepared to support them properly then we’re not going to get those recruits, we’re not going to be able to retain people and we’re not going to be able to deliver the commitment we should be giving to Afghanistan and indeed Iraq.” (Source: BBC)

08 Nov 07. Over the past three months, manufacturing has seen positive growth in new orders across most UK regions, despite the impact of the global credit squeeze on confidence, according to the latest quarterly Regional Trends Survey, published today (Thursday) by the CBI and Experian. The recent financial turmoil has depressed business confidence and export optimism in virtually all regions, but there is little evidence that it has inflicted serious damage on manufacturing activity in the past

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