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NEWS IN BRIEF

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30 Dec 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Captain from the Royal Marines was killed on 22 Dec 11 when his vehicle struck an explosive device to the South of Kabul. A Squadron Leader from the Royal Air Force was fatally wounded in the same incident and died of his wounds on 23 Dec 11. A soldier from 1st Bn The Yorkshire Regiment was killed by an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj District on 30 Dec 11. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 394, of whom 350 were killed due to hostile action. (MoD, 30 Dec 11.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Nov 11, 1,834 personnel were Wounded in Action and 5,265 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 15 Dec 11.) From 16 to 30 Nov 11 the figures were 10 and 44.
Discussions have taken place with Uzbek officials to consider the role that Uzbekistan might play in the draw-down of UK Forces in Afghanistan. (Written Answer (WA), 14 Dec 11.)
The Second Contingent of Tongan Defence Services handed over their duties to the Third Contingent in Camp Bastion. The new Contingent will work alongside RAF Regiment and RAF Police. (Media Ops, 16 Dec 11.)
The UK has made no fixed commitments, other than to reduce the force level by 500 next year and to be out of the combat role by the end of 2014. (Oral Answer, 19 Dec 11.)
The Prime Minister paid a pre-Christmas visit to those serving in Afghanistan. (MoD, 20/21 Dec 11.)
Some 280 British troops joined 550 members of the Afghan National Army for OP ZAMESTANI PEEROZI (Winter Success) to clear insurgents from between three major routes in Helmand Province. (Media Ops,
22 Dec 11.) Nearly a tonne of explosives was recovered during the Operation and subsequently destroyed. (Media Ops, 30 Dec 11.)
Comment: The 12th Progress Report on Developments in Afghanistan was published on 19 Dec 11. The Report is published on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk).
Sir Richard Stagg KCMG has been appointed HM Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Sir Richard, who is HM High Commissioner to India, is to succeed Sir William Patey KCMG in April 2012. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/01, 02 Jan 12)

14 Dec 11. Libya: After OP ELLAMY (19 Mar – 31 Oct 11). Properly addressing “legacy issues”, such as compensation for IRA victims, will be an important part of the UK’s relationship with Libya. (WA, 14 Dec 11.)
The UK has a small Defence Advisory Team in Tripoli. A separate team of experts is working with the Libyan authorities and the United States to locate, disable and secure man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). (WA, 15 Dec 11.)
The Foreign Secretary welcomed the removal of sanctions from the Central Bank of Libya and the Libya Arab Foreign Bank. The FCO is working to release about £6,500m frozen in the UK. (FCO, 16 Dec 11.)
Comment: As indicated above, there is increasing concern about the number of weapons freely available in Libya. The US is leading discussions with the Libyan Interim Government for a ‘buy-back’ programme, particularly for MANPADS (regarded as a threat to civil aircraft). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/01, 02 Jan 12)

28 Dec 11.The Ministry of Defence is facing costs of hundreds of millions of pounds as a result of cancelling complex equipment deals, threatening to undermine government efforts to cut defence expenditure. Analysis by Jane’s, the defence journal and consultancy, suggests ministers have underestimated how difficult and expensive it will be to scrap 500 equipment contracts as specified in last year’s strategic defence and security review. The news adds to pressure on the Ministry of Defence, which has recently come under sustained criticism for the way in which it signs arms procurement deals. Bernard Gray, the department’s own head of procurement, is set to recommend in the new year that the MoD los

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