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NEWS IN BRIEF

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08 Jan 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Sapper (i.e. Private) from 28 Engineer Regiment was killed by a member of the Afghan National Army at Patrol Base Hazrat on 7 Jan 13. (MoD, 8 Jan 13.) UK deaths since the start of Operations thus rose to 439, of whom 396 were killed due to hostile action. (DR&A calculations.)
2,192 aircraft movements on the Camp Bastion Airfield were supported by 903 Expeditionary Air Wing over the Christmas and New Year period. (RAF Ops Update, 5 Jan 13.)
The threat to global security from the Al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan has been significantly reduced…. (Foreign Secretary, 7 Jan 13.)
The UK and the international community are committed to Afghanistan for the long term. (Written Answer
(WA), 7 Jan 13.)
MoD funding arrangements for the Officer Academy are still to be confirmed. (WA, 8 Jan 13.)
We have a clear commitment to treat locally employed civilians (i.e. interpreters) fairly and appropriately and to ensure their safety and security beyond the term of their employment with HM Government. (WA, 9 Jan 13.)
All Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) across Afghanistan will close by the end of 2014, including the
UK-led Helmand PRT. The Department for International Development (DfID) is planning to maintain a presence in Kabul from 2014. (WA, 9 Jan 13.)
The Armed Forces’ Minister and the Defence Equipment Minister visited troops in Afghanistan (before
moving on to the UK Maritime Component Command in Bahrain on 10 Jan 13. The Ministers also called on HMS MONMOUTH and RAMSEY in the Gulf.) (MoD, 11 Jan 13.)
Comment: The Government Response to the International Development Committee’s Report on ‘Afghanistan’ was published on 10 Jan 13 (as HC 862 for £6:00). Afghanistan “continues to be heavily dependent on international assistance” and “corruption is widespread” sum up the major problems. The Government also acknowledges “the enormous challenges Afghan women and girls face in their day to day lives”.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/03, 14 Jan 13)

11 Jan 13. Falkland Islands: Routine Rotation. The deployment of B Company, 2nd Bn The Mercian Regiment is part of a routine rotation of military personnel to and from the Islands. The MoD confirmed (11 Jan 13) that: “Our overall military posture on the Falkland Islands remains unchanged and they remain well protected.”.
Comment: The MoD was reacting to a report in ‘The Sun’, which was repeated by ‘The Daily Telegraph’, placing unnecessary emphasis on a routine move. There have been some 500 changes in the rotation of Infantry Companies deployed to the Islands since the 1982 Campaign.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/03, 14 Jan 13)

10 Jan 13. Syria: Carnage Continues. The Foreign Secretary made a Statement (10 Jan 13) to the House of Commons on Syria. 60,000 Syrians are now believed to have died, 600,000 have become refugees, 2,000,000 are internally displaced and 4,000,000 are in desperate need. Should the violence worsen in the coming months, the Foreign Secretary believes that “the international community’s response will have to be stepped up”.
Comment: Although the UK is the second largest bilateral donor to UN relief efforts for the Syrian people, the situation remains grave. A transcript of the above speech is recorded in ‘Hansard’ and also on the Government website (www.gov.uk/fco). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/03, 14 Jan 13)

08 Jan 13. Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General – Ministry of Defence: The Major Projects Report 2012. In respect of its largest defence projects there are early signs that the Ministry of Defence has begun to make realistic trade-offs between cost, time, technical requirements and the amount of equipment to be purchased. Nevertheless, the continuing variances to cost an

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