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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

13 Nov 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. Some 12 UK Military Transition Teams (MiTT) are currently working in and around Basrah City with different elements of the Iraqi Army’s 14th Division. The tasks of the MiTT are to mentor and support the Iraqi units. (MoD, 13 Nov 08.)
The FCO currently employs 47 UK-based staff in Iraq. £6.9m was spent from the conflict prevention pool in 2007/08 in deploying civilian experts to Iraq. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 13 Nov 08.)
In a newspaper interview, the Chief of the General Staff said: “South East Iraq is a much better place today that it was. In Basrah today the concern is not about security, it’s about employment and unemployment.” General Dannatt went on to say that the mission in Iraq was nearing completion and that next year should see a significant withdrawal of UK Forces. (MoD, 14 Nov 08.)
Comment: The costs of the global conflict prevention pool are shared by the Department for International Development (DfID) and the MoD. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0845, 17 Nov 08)

12 Nov 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Two Marines from the Landing Force Command Support Group, Royal Marines, were killed as a result of an explosion in the Garmsir District on 12 Nov 08. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 124, of whom 97 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 12 Nov 08.)
During a television interview, the Chief of the Defence Staff said: “It’s crucial that we reduce the Operational tempo for our Armed Forces.”. (BBC 1, 9 Nov 08.)
The Government’s Afghanistan Strategy remains under constant review. The next detailed assessment is due before the end of 2008. (MA, 10 Nov 08.)
A new Order has been made to enable Reservists to continue to be called out to support Operations in Afghanistan. The new Order is effective until 10 Nov 09. Some 670 Reservists are currently called out in support of OP HERRICK. (Ministerial Statement, 11 Nov 08.)
The Defence Secretary gave a speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in which he restated the reasons why British troops are deployed to Afghanistan. (MoD, 11 Nov 08.)
The FCO currently employs 74 UK-based staff in Afghanistan. £2.3m was spent from the conflict prevention pool in 2007/08 in deploying civilian experts to Helmand. In addition, the FCO spent £4.8m is deploying Foreign Office staff to Helmand. (MA, 13Nov 08.)
Comment: An ICM poll concluded that 68% of British adults believed that the UK should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan within a year. The MoD countered by stating (13 Nov 08) that 50% of the UK public supported the Armed Forces’ presence in Afghanistan. An MoD spokesman also declared that: “The use of such polls is not necessarily helpful….”(!)(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0845, 17 Nov 08)

11 Nov 08. Gulf of Aden: OP ALLIED PROVIDER. HMS CUMBERLAND, while conducting routine Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf of Aden (11 Nov 08), decided to board a Yemeni-flagged dhow. The dhow was towing a skiff which was believed to have been involved in an attack on the Danish-registered MV Powerful. During an exchange of shots two of the dhow crew, thought to be Somalis, were killed. An injured Yemeni also died despite the best endeavours of the ship’s doctor.
Comment: The NATO Secretary General commended the crew of HMS CUMBERLAND, saying that they had carried out their mission “with courage and professionalism”. NATO was determined to play its part in deterring piracy off the Somali coast, as had been requested by the UN. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0845, 17 Nov 08)

18 Nov 08. Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, has officially delivered the first Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon to the Italian Air Force. The aircraft – IS020 – was flown to Grosseto by Maj. Marco Bertoli, deputy-commander of the IX group of the 4th Wing of ItAF, is the first of a series of 47 enhanced standard fighters which will be delivered to the Ita

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