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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

06 Aug 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jun 06 to 15 Jul 08, 315 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,536 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 6 Aug 08.) From 1 to 15 Jul 08, the figures were nil and 22.
The opening of a new pumping station is another sign of the improved security situation in and around Basrah. (MoD, 4 Aug 08.)
An article in The Times, claiming a ‘secret deal’ between UK Forces and Basrah militia, was “wholly inaccurate and utterly misleading”. (MoD, 5 Aug 08.)
A new, British-funded, Headquarters for Basrah Province’s Department of Border Enforcement has been opened. (MoD, 5 Aug 08.)
Further media claims of a ‘secret deal’ with Basrah militia groups were said to be “untrue”. (MoD 6 Aug 08.)
Major General A (Andy) Salmon OBE took over as General Officer Commanding, Multinational Division (South East) on 12 Aug 08. (MoD, 13 Aug 08.)
“….it is still too early to discuss the size and shape of a reduced UK Forces’ footprint.” (MoD, 15 Aug 08.)
Comment: A lengthy ‘Wall Street Journal’ article on 14 Aug 08 detailed plans for US commanders “to assume responsibility for the oil-rich city of Basra as British Forces currently there leave Iraq”. On the following day, the same newspaper included a vitriolic editorial about “the British disgrace in Basra”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0832, 18 Aug 08)

11 Aug 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Signaller (i.e. Private) from 16 Signal Regiment died following a suicide attack on his vehicle in Kabul on
11 Aug 08. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 115, of whom 88 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 11 Aug 08.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jul 08, 396 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,186 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 6 Aug 08.) From 1 to 15 Jul 08, the figures were 16 and 48.
The Defence Secretary had not decided that additional troops were to be deployed to Afghanistan, as implied by media reports. (MoD, 8 Aug 08.)
The UK compensates individuals who may have suffered as a result of British military action, despite claims to the contrary made in The Observer. (MoD, 11 Aug 08.)
B Company, 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment is living in Forward Operating Base Inkerman in the
Upper Sangin Valley, described as “one of the most dangerous and austere bases that UK troops occupy”. (MoD, 13 Aug 08.)
Returning from a visit to Afghanistan, the Defence Secretary described “the positive impact” the presence of UK troops is having in the region. (MoD, 15 Aug 08.)
Comment: President Karzai reportedly appealed (10 Aug 08) for the US and NATO to stop airstrikes against Afghan villages and the consequent killing of civilians. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0832, 18 Aug 08)

15 Aug 08. US and Poland sign defence deal. Poland has signed a preliminary deal with the US on plans to host part of its new missile defence shield. Under the agreement, the US will install 10 interceptor missiles at a base on the Baltic coast in return for help strengthening Polish air defences. The US says the system will protect itself and Europe against long range missile attacks by “rogue states”. Correspondents say the deal is expected to heighten tension between the US and Russia, already strained over Georgia. Moscow has said the project will upset the military balance in Europe and has warned it will be forced to redirect its missiles at Poland. (Source: BBC)

19 Aug 08. Talks have been held with countries including Japan about offloading large numbers of Eurofighter Typhoons that the British Ministry of Defence has ordered but can no longer afford. The talks, which officials say are at an early stage, underline the scale of the cash crisis facing the MoD as it grapples with an estimated budget deficit of £2bn. The Royal Air Force, which had ordered 144 Eurofighters in two earlier contracts, is committed to buying another 88 as part of its membership of the Eurofighter consortium

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