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NEWS IN BRIEF

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EUROPE

18 Aug 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A soldier from 1st Bn Grenadier Guards was killed while on sentry duty in the Nahr-e Saraj District on 17 Aug 12. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 425, of whom 385 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 18 Aug 12.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Jul 12, 1,981 personnel were Wounded in Action and 6,065 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 15 Aug 12.) For July 2012, the figures were 32 and 126.
D Squadron, King’s Royal Hussars is mounted in Warthogs (rather than Challenger 2 main battle tanks) as a surveillance group. (MoD, 13 Aug 12.)
Sappers from 26 Engineer Regiment have been taking part in the first ocean divers course to be taught in the Afghan desert (actually in a dive tank holding 70,000 litres of water). (MoD, 16 Aug 12.)
Members of the King’s Royal Hussars and 1st Bn Welsh Guards supported a community engagement event in the Babaji District. (MoD, 17 Aug 12.)
Reservists who are law enforcement Officers in their civilian life have been helping to improve policing standards in Southern Afghanistan. (MoD, 17 Aug 12.)
Comment: In its 2012 Mid-year Report, the UN Mission in Afghanistan recorded 3,099 civilian casualties
(1,145 killed and 1,954 injured) between 1 Jan and 30 Jun 12 in “conflict-related” violence. As a UN Special Representative commented: “The 3,099 civilian casualties….were ordinary Afghans struggling to go about their daily lives in the midst of an armed conflict.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/33, 20 Aug 12)

13 Aug 12. Olympic and Paralympic Games: Services Save the Day(!). The MoD recorded (13 Aug 12) the gratitude of the Prime Minister and many other distinguished people for the Armed Forces personnel who provided security at the Olympic venues. Some 18,200 members of the Armed Forces provided a range of naval, land and air expertise. Over 170 Service members acted as flag-bearers during the Olympic Games, taking part in 100 ‘team welcome ceremonies’ and 805 ‘victory ceremonies’.
Comment: The MoD welcomed (12 Aug 12) a £2.5m donation from G4S to Service sporting and welfare funds. In the words of the Defence Secretary: “….the story of G4S and the military rescue is quite informative”. (Without the ‘last minute’ addition of Service personnel to assist with security, G4S and the Games’ organisers would have looked remarkably silly.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/33, 20 Aug 12)

15 Aug 12. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said on Aug. 15 that Poland should set up its own missile shield to defend its territory as part of the wider NATO project. “We need our own Polish shield which at the same time would be part of the larger NATO system,” Komorowski said in a speech marking national army day. “It’s a costly but tolerable project for the budget,” because of Poland’s economic growth and the savings it has achieved from disengaging from Afghanistan, he said. “It’s an indispensable development in order to no longer fear as much the grumblings of discontent against our commitment toward our security and that of our NATO allies, including the United States,” the president said. (Source: Defense News)

16 Aug 16. Opposition parties are criticizing the Swedish government for dragging its feet on tightening arms export laws while the center-right administration also is under pressure to legally reclassify “authoritarian states,” including Saudi Arabia, as “dictatorships.” This would allow the blacklisting of arms sales. Although countries such as Iran, North Korea, Bahrain, Armenia and Saudi Arabia are legally designated by Sweden as “authoritarian states with undemocratically elected” governments, the country’s export rules allow for the controlled sale of arms to those countries once contracts are examined

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