NEWS IN BRIEF
04 Apr 08. NATO Summit: Enlargement. Heads of State and Government from the 26 NATO nations met in Bucharest from 2 to 4 Apr 08. NATO enlargement was discussed and it was agreed that:
* Albania and Croatia would be invited to start accession talks, with a view to signing Accession Protocols by 31 Jul 08.
* Macedonia (FYROM) would be invited to join NATO as soon as the ‘name issue’ had been resolved [with Greece].
* Georgia’s and Ukraine’s applications for Membership Action Plans were supported.
* Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro should be invited to start an “intensified dialogue”.
* Serbia would enjoy “an ambitious and substantive relationship” with the Alliance.
It was also recorded that Malta’s participation in the Partnership for Peace programme had been reactivated.
Comment: In a Statement (4 Apr 08) on NATO Enlargement, the Foreign Secretary said that he looked forward to “a period of intense co-operation” with Georgia and Ukraine until the December 2008 Ministerial meeting. The UK also looked forward to working closely with Albania and Croatia within the Alliance. The Foreign Secretary would be working for Macedonia’s admission to NATO “as soon as possible”.
07 Apr 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. “In the past two weeks UK troops have been providing key logistical, medical and niche capability support
to the Iraqi Army as part of our Overwatch commitment. This has included fast air, artillery and the provision of Liaison Officers….” (MoD, 7 Apr 08.)
“The Southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, the Country’s main maritime gateway, is getting back to normal….” (MoD, 8 Apr 08.)
“The deployment of additional US training and headquarters staff to Basrah shouldn’t surprise anyone. It is an entirely logical military move.” (MoD, 10 Apr 08.)
Comment: The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) published (9 Apr 08) ‘War Without Consequences: Iraq’s Insurgency and the Spectre of Strategic Defeat’; marking the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The book costs £12:50 and full details are available through the website (www.rusi.org/iraqbook). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0815, 15 Apr 08)
10 Apr 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Royal Marines from 40 Commando started to arrive back in the UK. The Marines had deployed in
October 2007, in support of 52 Infantry Brigade. (MoD, 8 Apr 08.)
4 Regiment, Army Air Corps, is preparing to take over from 3 Regiment in flying Apache in Afghanistan.
(MoD, 10 Apr 08.)
Brigadier M A P Carleton-Smith assumed command of Task Force Helmand in Lashkar Gah on 9 Apr 08.
16 Air Assault Brigade has replaced 52 Infantry Brigade. (MoD, 10 Apr 08.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0815, 15 Apr 08)
Comment: During their Summit (Item 1), NATO leaders also discussed Afghanistan (and Kosovo). A ‘Strategic Vision’ for ISAF was published, as was a pamphlet on ‘Progress in Afghanistan’. It was also agreed that the Afghan National Army would assume responsibility for Kabul by August 2008.
NATO released some details of the (US) 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s (MEU) deployment. The 2,300-strong MEU is operating in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as a Theatre Tactical Force, available to move rapidly to wherever it may be needed. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0815, 15 Apr 08)
03 Apr 08. Tristan da Cunha: OP ZEST. The MoD reported (3 Apr 08) that the OP ZEST Joint Task Force (JTF) had completed a series of
complex repair tasks to Tristan da Cunha’s harbour. Emergency repairs to Calshot Harbour were completed on 25 Mar 08 although it took several more days to recover the JTF and equipment back to RFA Lyme Bay.
Comment: RFA Lyme Bay was re-tasked at short notice in order to take on specialist supplies and provide the necessary back-up for OP ZEST. The JTF included a command element from Fleet HQ, 46 Royal Engineers from 34 Field Squadron, 20 logisticians from 17 Port & Maritime Regiment and medical personnel. Tristan’s 2