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NEWS IN BRIEF

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02 Sep 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF), General J R Allen, gave his first broadcast interview to NATO TV. COMISAF said “that despite the talk of troops withdrawing, foreign commitment to Afghanistan will be around for years to come”. (NATO, 2 Sep 11.)
A Royal Engineers team is helping Afghans in Lashkar Gah by offering advice on a range of projects vital to the security of the area. The team works for the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team as an engineering design consultancy. (MoD, 6 Sep 11.)
ISAF released the findings of an investigation into the death of a BBC reporter who was killed during an insurgent attack in Uruzgan Province on 28 Jul 11. It was determined that the reporter was killed in a case of mistaken identity. (ISAF, 8 Sep 11.)
Comment: The Foreign Secretary told the House of Commons (7 Sep 11) that the ninth progress report on developments in Afghanistan has been published. The report focuses on “key developments” during the months of July and August 2011. Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have exceeded their October 2011 targets and a new target of 352,000 by the end of October 2012 has been endorsed. The report is published on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/35, 12 Sep 11)

06 Sep 11. NATO’s Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Va., is working on a “smart defense” concept to identify areas for potential multinational cooperation, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a Sept. 5 news conference here. “We have until May 2012 [the date of NATO’s next summit in Chicago] to try to identify areas where groups of countries could pool and share resources,” he said. “Hopefully in Chicago we can identify lead nations to carry forward those projects.”
The Libya operation “couldn’t have been done without U.S. capabilities such as drones, intelligence and refueling aircraft,” he added. “These capabilities are vital to all of us. More allies should be willing to obtain them. That’s a real challenge. We’ll have to find solutions at the next NATO summit in Chicago.” Another area for potential cooperation, Rasmussen said, was “transport capability,” which he said was “not directly related to Libya”. He described this as a “general challenge to ensure European forces become more mobile,” adding, this was “one of the weaknesses of European armed forces. We lack strategic airlift capacity.” (Source: Defense News)

09 Sep 11. France’s secretary general for national defense will deliver to the president by the end of this year an early draft of a planned update of the 2008 white paper on defense and national security, said Francis Delon, the senior civil servant who heads the office that will produce the work. Delon announced the upcoming draft at the French military’s annual two-day “summer defense university,” hosted this year in Rennes by the Direction générale de l’armement. An update of the defense review was always scheduled for 2012, intended to keep the document up-to-date. The white paper sets out the strategic overview and is used as a planning tool for drafting the multiyear military budget law.The early draft will draw on four working groups. The first will look at the big geostrategic picture, such as China’s military modernization and the Arab Spring. (Source: Defense News)

26 Aug 11. NATO plan to set up online app store. The 28 NATO allies and partner countries should have in the near future an online ‘app store’, where they can browse for NATO C4ISR applications to download or modify to fit their national requirements. Budgetary pressures and the need to quickly forge inter-nation interoperability for NATO-led coalitions were behind the idea, said officials at NC3A, the NATO Consultation,

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