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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

4 Apr 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Mar 08, 307 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,380 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 4 Apr 08.) From 1 to 15 Mar 08, the figures were two and 15.
“….supply chain performance has improved, especially for Priority 3 and 4 demands that go by sea.” (DE&S News, March 2008.)
“….we intend to keep our Forces at the current level of around 4,000….I expect to be able to update the House on force levels later this month.” (Defence Secretary, 1 Apr 08, Hansard, Column 630.)
Since 2003, the MoD has paid £3.34m in compensation for Iraqi nationals injured or killed by British Forces. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 1 Apr 08.)
The number of established UK military posts in Southern Iraq has been: 4,500 (on 31 Dec 07); 4,100
(31 Jan 08); 4,000 (29 Feb 08) and 4,000 (31 Mar 08). (MA, 2 Apr 08.)
“We continue to keep the security situation in Basrah under close review….” (MA, 3 Apr 08.)
Comment: The Defence Secretary’s Statement to the House of Commons on 1 Apr 08 changed earlier forecasts of troop numbers. On 8 Oct 07 the Prime Minister said that a UK force of 2,500 was anticipated for Iraq by Spring 2008, with 500 support personnel based elsewhere in the region. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0814, 07 Apr 08)

30 Mar 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Lieutenant and a Marine from 40 Commando were killed on 30 Mar 08 in Helmand Province when their vehicle was caught in an explosion. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 91, of whom 59 have been classified as Killed in Action and six as Died of Wounds. (MoD, 30 Mar 08.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Mar 08, 343 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 928 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 4 Apr 08.) From 1 to 15 Mar 08, the figures were four and 23.
10 forward operating bases are supported by Service catering personnel and two of the bases are also supported by UK contracted personnel. (MA, 31 Mar 08.)
A large reserve of operational ration packs and commercial food is held in Kabul, to ensure that all demands from the front line are met. Main/forward operating bases are also provided with fresh food. (MA, 1 Apr 08.)
Reconstruction and development is well under way in Musa Qaleh. (MoD, 2 Apr 08.)
Payments totalling $295,386 (£148,107) have been paid to Afghan nationals in compensation for injuries caused by British troops since 2001. $224,325 (£112,477) of the total was paid in the 2007/08 financial year. (MA, 2 Apr 08.)
The first troops from 52 Infantry Brigade have started to arrive back at their UK home bases. (MoD, 3 Apr 08.)
Comment: ‘DE&S News’ (March 2008) reported that Senior Officers were starting to look at “the logistic and equipment implications of an extended UK Campaign in Afghanistan”. Among other measures, Defence Equipment & Supply is “to see whether we can create more capacity from our current strategic air assets”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0814, 07 Apr 08)

11 Apr 08. Brown under pressure on arms deal. Gordon Brown is coming under pressure to reopen the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into the multi-billion pound arms deal between BAE and Saudi Arabia. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the investigation, which was suspended in 2006, must be allowed to continue. The High Court ruled that the SFO acted unlawfully by dropping the corruption inquiry into the £43bn deal. BAE was accused of illegal payments to Saudi officials, but the defence company maintains it acted lawfully. The High Court said the decision to halt the inquiry represented an “abject surrender” to pressure from a foreign government. Lord Justice Moses said that the SFO and the government had given into “blatant threats” that Saudi co-operation in the fight against terror would end unless the probe into corruption was halted. The legal challenge had been made by Corner House and the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), who said the SFO decision was infl

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