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19 Oct 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Corporal from 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) was killed by an improvised explosive device blast East of Gereshk on 19 Oct 10. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 341, of whom 301 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 19 Oct 10.)
Commander Bastion is a new appointment, combining the main joint operating base in Helmand and the associated airfield. The base houses up to 22,000 Afghan, Danish, Estonian, UK and US Service personnel and contractors. Camp Bastion is to become the UK’s strategic air transport hub early in 2011. (MoD, 18 Oct 10.)
An Afghan Brigade launched OP OMID CHAR, to secure a key area near Gereshk. 1st Bn Irish Guards provide the Brigade’s mentors “to observe and support throughout the Operation when required”. (MoD, 20 Oct 10.)
Comment: In a television interview (21 Oct 10), the Defence Secretary was asked about the insurgents in Helmand and replied that there was “a considerable insurgency still there, but there’s no doubt that we’re making progress”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/41, 25 Oct 10)
20 Oct 10. Spending Review 2010 (SR10): Publication. The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented (20 Oct 10) SR10 to Parliament. SR10 “sets out how the Coalition Government will carry out Britain’s unavoidable deficit reduction plan”. Over the course of the SR10 period (2010/11 until 2014/15) the MoD is to reduce resource and capital spending by 8% in real terms. The MoD is expected to make at least £4,300m of ‘non-frontline’ savings over the period. SR10 records that each Government Department is to publish “a business plan setting out the details of its reform plans” before the end of 2010. A Reform White Paper is to be published “early in the New Year”.
Comment: ‘Spending Review 2010’ is published, as Command 7942, for £45:00. The main document (with a green cover) is accompanied by ‘Spending Review 2010’ Policy Costings (with a red/white cover but only of interest to severely serious economists). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/41, 25 Oct 10)
18 Oct 10. National Security Strategy (NSS): Publication. The Prime Minister announced (18 Oct 10) publication of the NSS. The UK faces “a complex array of threats from a myriad of sources”. The National Security Council considers that there are four Tier 1 risks: Terrorism, Cyber attack, Major natural hazards & accidents and International military crises. In addition to Tier 1, four
Tier 2 and seven Tier 3 risks are discussed.
Comment: The NSS should be read in conjunction with ‘The Strategic Defence and Security Review’ (SDSR – Item 4). The two documents set out the UK’s “strategic choices on how to ensure the security of [the] Country”. ‘The National Security Strategy’ is published, as Command 7953, for £14:75. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/41, 25 Oct 10)
19 Oct 10. Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR): Publication
The Prime Minister introduced the SDSR in a House of Commons Debate (19 Oct 10). The main conclusions from the Prime Minister’s speech and from the SDSR are l