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EUROPE

26 Jun 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. In the three years to 19 Jun 12, 176 strikes were carried out by UK Reaper unmanned air vehicles (UAV) in Afghanistan. Ministers are aware of only one incident where individuals not classified as insurgents were killed by a UK Reaper UAV. The incident took place on 25 Mar 11 and resulted in the death of four civilians in addition to two insurgents. (Written Answer, 26 Jun 12.)
The Foreign Secretary presented to Parliament a monthly progress report on Afghanistan. Lashkar Gah and Nad-e-Ali have entered ‘transition’. Nahr-e-Saraj will be the third and final area within the UK’s area of responsibility to begin ‘transition’ (to the Afghan National Security Forces). (Written Statement, 28 Jun 12.)
A UK military team helped an Afghan community to rebuild a bridge destroyed by insurgents. (MoD, 28 Jun 12.)
Comment: The Foreign Secretary updates Parliament with a progress report every month. The reports reflect the combined assessment of the FCO, the MoD and the DfID (Department for International Development).
The NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations briefed the UN Security Council on Afghanistan on 27 Jun 12. (NATO, 28 Jun 12.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/26, 02 July 12)

28 Jun 12. Cyprus: Reservists Called Out. The Armed Forces’ Minister announced (28 Jun 12) that, with the expiry of the call-out order made on 1 May 11, a new order has been made under Section 56 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996. The new order enables Reservists to continue to be called out into permanent service as part of the UK’s contribution to the UN Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The new order is effective until 28 Jun 13.
Comment: Some 54 Reservists are currently called out in support of UNFICYP and are serving in Cyprus. The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia form one of the 14 Overseas Territories mentioned in Item 10. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/26, 02 July 12)

USA

27 Jun 12. Moving supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan via Central Asia costs three times as much as routes through Pakistan, which Islamabad shut seven months ago in anger, a senior U.S. officer said June 27.
“On the ground, it’s almost three times more expensive to come from the north as it does from Pakistan. More expensive and slower,” said Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, director of the Defense Logistics Agency.
NATO now uses an alternative network of northern routes that pass through Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Transporting a container from the United States to Afghanistan costs about $20,000, he told a group of defense reporters. But the cost of ferrying cargo to the Pakistani port of Karachi and then over roads to the Afghan border amounts to only a third of that price, he said. (Source: Defense News)

28 Jun 12. UTC agrees fine over China military exports. One of the US’s largest defence contractors, United Technologies, has pleaded guilty to knowingly supplying technology for China’s first modern military attack helicopters, in a serious breach of US controls on arms export to the country. Pratt & Whitney Canada, a UTC subsidiary, and Hamilton Sundstrand, a US subsidiary, agreed at the court hearing in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to pay up to $75m in fines for the offences, which the Department of Justice said began as early as 2000. The case highlights the still-important role of the US and other western countries as sources of the most sophisticated technologies for rising military powers such as China – and the sensitivity of exports of potentially dual-use technologies. (Source: FT.com)

REST OF THE WORLD

28 Jun 12. Saudi Arabia has reopened an old oil pipeline built by Iraq to bypass Gulf shipping lanes, giving Riyadh scope to export more of its crude from Red Sea terminals sho

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