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22 Jan10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A soldier from 4th Bn The Rifles was killed as a result of an explosion near Sangin on 22 Jan 10. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 250, of whom 217 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 22 Jan 10.)
The Operation to deliver a turbine to Kajaki dam in September 2008 took 17 days. No UK deaths were sustained in the Operation but four UK personnel were injured. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 18 Jan 10.) A detachment from 3rd Bn The Rifles is currently based at Kajaki, along with elements of the Royal Engineers and others. (MA, 20 Jan 10.)
During a speech [Item 9] the Chief of the General Staff commented that: “The Taliban have given orders to their people to attack in as many different places as they possibly can….”. (MoD, 19 Jan 10.)
The net additional cost of military Operations is funded from the Reserve. In the financial year 2007/08 this amounted to £1,504m for Afghanistan. (MA, 19 Jan 10.)
3 Regiment Army Air Corps is currently responsible for flying and servicing the Apache in Helmand Province. 663 Squadron has now been succeeded by 653 Squadron. (MoD, 21 Jan 10.)
An Estonian Infantry Company operates with British Forces in Task Force Helmand. (MA, 21 Jan 10.)
The Defence Secretary announced the next roulement of UK Forces in Afghanistan, due to take place in
April 2010 (OP HERRICK 12). HQ 6 (UK) Division will remain as HQ Regional Command (South) while the lead formation in Helmand, 11 (Light) Brigade, will be replaced by 4 Mechanised Brigade. Members of the Reserve will continue to deploy to Afghanistan, with the MoD expecting to issue 700 call-out notices to fill some
600 posts. (MoD, 21 Jan 10.)
Comment: It is planned that 16 Air Assault Brigade will take over from 4 Mechanised Brigade (in October 2010 for OP HERRICK 13). A comprehensive list of the units and sub-units due to deploy on OP HERRICK 12 is available to subscribers on request: the list can also be found in Hansard for 21 Jan 10. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/04, 25 Jan 10)
30 Jan 10. Tony Blair’s testimony to the Iraq inquiry will change few minds. Those hoping to put the former British prime minister in the dock for launching an illegal war will have been confounded. Mr Blair gave a predictably robust defence of his actions. There was, to be sure, the odd concession. Mr Blair now thinks he would not – contrary to a statement he made recently in a television interview – have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein even had he known there were no weapons of mass destruction. He admitted that he had erroneously denied that military planning was under way at a time when it was. But he was largely unrepentant. As expected, the question of legality dominated proceedings. But it was always going to be a dead end. Questions of international law are not capable of determination as if they were domestic criminal or civil matters. Of more moment was the grilling Mr Blair received on the process by which he took Britain to war, and whether the planning and execution were adequate. Mr Blair talked a lot about judgment. But it