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18 Dec 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Nov 12, 2,066 personnel were Wounded in Action and 6,377 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 18 Dec 12.) For November 2012 the figures were 11 and 76.
“….the Government does not record total figures for civilian casualties in Afghanistan….” (Written Answer
(WA), 17 Dec 12.)
274 ISAF soldiers died on Operations between 1 Jan and 18 Dec 12. 1,145 civilian deaths were recorded from 1 Jan to 31 Jun 12, 80% of which were attributed to anti-Government Forces. (WA, 18 Dec 12.)
UK Force levels are to reduce to around 5,200 by the end of 2013. UK Forces will end combat Operations by the end of 2014. (Prime Minister, 19 Dec 12.)
The Defence Secretary made an Afghanistan Quarterly Statement to the House of Commons on 19 Dec 12. (Hansard, Column 853 et seq.)
The Prime Minister praised the Armed Forces during a visit to Camp Bastion on 20 Dec 12. (MoD, 21 Dec 12.)
Comment: During his Quarterly Statement (above), the Defence Secretary noted that the troop level of 5,200 would be kept “under review as the ISAF plan firms up and other Allies make drawdown decisions in the New Year”. The Defence Secretary also observed that “….the Afghan Government will need to address the corruption which remains rampant and could become a very real threat to the long term stability of Afghanistan”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/01, 31 Dec 12)
17 Dec 12. Canada: Close Relationship. In a Written Answer, the International Security Minister said (17 Dec 12) that Canada and the UK “share a close and historic Defence relationship”. This relationship was invigorated by the endorsement of the Canada-UK Joint Declaration on 22 Sep 11 by the Prime Ministers of the two Countries.
Comment: The British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) is a much appreciated facility made available to the British Services by the Canadian authorities. The cost of BATUS to the UK, excluding pay and allowances, was £58.0m in 2009/10 and £55.3m in 2010/11. The arrangement at BATUS is ‘open-ended’ and can be renegotiated at any time. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/01, 31 Dec 12)
18 Dec 12. Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Royal Visit. HM The Queen visited the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (18 Dec 12) and was welcomed by the Foreign Secretary for the final event of her Diamond Jubilee. The Foreign Secretary noted that there are currently over 10,000 British and locally-engaged staff in the UK’s Embassies and High Commissions. Mr Hague commented that he was conscious of being HM The Queen’s 22nd Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Comment: The Foreign Secretary used the occasion of the visit to announce the naming of Queen Elizabeth Land (Item 2). The newly restored Home Office Library has been renamed, in The Queen’s honour, as the Diamond Jubilee Library. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/01, 31 Dec 12)
28 Dec 12. Thatcher gave Paris Falklands ultimatum. The UK threatened to break off relations with France over a potential delivery of arms that could have reached Argentina during the Falklands war, a telegram released under the 30-year rule has revealed. Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister when Argentina invaded the South Atlantic islands, admonished the French President after she discovered France might deliver Exocet missiles to Peru although it knew they were being passed to Argentina. Mrs Thatcher warned President Mitterrand that if France did allow the missiles to be shipped to Peru it would have a “disastrous effect” on the NATO alliance and on close cross-channel ties. “If it became known, as it certainly would, that France was now releasing weapons to Peru that would certainly be passed on to Argentina for use against us, France’s ally, this would