NEWS IN BRIEF
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12 Aug 09. We are delighted that our new email system is now up and running earlier than planned. This is due to the hard work put in by Sara Dodd, Andrew Smith and their colleagues at Net Resources in Edinburgh. Thus we are publishing this week in the new format. We will switch off the old format in four weeks time. You will need a password to us the new system. This can be obtained by registering at:http://www.battle-technology.com/members.asp
06 Aug 09. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Craftsman (i.e. Private) from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was killed in the Lashkar Gah District on 4 Aug 09, when the Spartan vehicle he was driving was hit by an explosion. A Corporal, a Lance Corporal and a Private from The Parachute Regiment were killed North of Lashkar Gah on 6 Aug 09, when their Jackal vehicle was hit by an explosion. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 195, of whom 164 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 6 Aug 09.)
When deployed to Afghanistan, the Merlin helicopters will be ready to perform the full range of military tasks required. (MoD, 4 Aug 09.)
Despite reports to the contrary, some Ridgeback vehicles are neither ‘stranded’ nor ‘marooned’ in Dubai. The vehicles were never destined for 19 Light Brigade, which does not have enough trained drivers, but they are being pre-positioned for the successor formation (11 Light Brigade). (MoD, 6 Aug 09.)
Since April this year, Highway One [the main arterial route through Helmand] has been the scene of 49 improvised explosive device finds. (MoD, 7 Aug 09.)
Comment: The newly-appointed NATO Secretary General visited Afghanistan (5-7 Aug 09) for discussions with Afghan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) authorities. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/30, 10 Aug 09)
06 Aug 09. Iraq: OP TELIC/OP BROCKDALE. OP BROCKDALE, the withdrawal from Iraq of all personnel and equipment other than Naval training staff, has been completed. The evacuation involved 4,200 personnel, more than 5,000 containers of equipment and over 1,400 combat vehicles. (MoD, 6 Aug 09.)
Comment: The team of 80 Naval trainers continues to pass the time in Kuwait, as the terms of the UK-Iraq Defence Support Agreement are sorted out. In the words of the Shadow Foreign Secretary: “Since May 31 these British personnel have been stuck in limbo, without a legal basis for their operations.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/30, 10 Aug 09)
04 Aug 09. Torture: Joint Committee Report. The House of Lords and House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights published (4 Aug 09) a Report on Allegations of UK Complicity in Torture. The Report notes that “Ministers are determined to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny and accountability” over allegations of possible UK complicity in torture. The Committee concludes that “in view of the large number of unanswered questions….there is now no other way to restore public confidence in the Intelligence Services than by setting up an independent inquiry.