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22 Apr 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. “We are currently looking very carefully at how we are going to make appropriate provision to support locally engaged staff [i.e. interpreters] as we draw down and eventually end our combat mission.” (Written Answer (WA), 22 Apr 13.)
“Equipment and matériel will only be redeployed from Afghanistan once Operational Commanders are content that it is no longer required. Once identified as no longer required a decision is made on whether to gift, sell, destroy or redeploy the equipment.” (WA, 22 Apr 13.)
The Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol has been selected as the new standard issue sidearm for the Armed Forces. Deliveries to Afghanistan will start this Summer. (WA, 23 Apr 13.)
Protecting people during the draw-down is extremely important. (Foreign Secretary, 23 Apr 13.)
In 2012 the MoD spent £23.3m on infrastructure in Afghanistan: these costs were resourced by the Treasury
Reserve. (WA, 23 Apr 13.)
“The safety of our locally engaged staff, including interpreters, is of great importance to us.” (WA, 25 Apr 13.)
Comment: ISAF numbers have hardly changed, as reflected in the most recent figures listed. The Hungarian contingent has reduced considerably but the overall total has only fallen by less than one percent.
United States 68,000
Estonia 163
United Kingdom 9,000
Macedonia 158
Germany 4,400
New Zealand 155
Italy 3,049
Armenia 126
Poland 1,744
Finland 126
Georgia 1,561
Czech Republic 123
Romania 1,536
Azerbaijan 94
Spain 1,249
Slovenia 60
Turkey 1,097
Tonga 55
Australia 1,084
Herzegovina 53
Canada 950
Mongolia 46
Denmark 558
Singapore 39
Netherlands 500
Arab Emirates 35
Sweden 472
Montenegro 27
France 459
Latvia 26
Bulgaria 407
Ukraine 25
Hungary 368
El Salvador 13
Korea (RoK) 350
Luxembourg 10
Belgium 240
Ireland 7
Lithuania 240
Austria 3
Slovakia 236
Greece 3
Albania 221
Iceland 3
Croatia 188
Malaysia 2
Norway 165
Bahrain 0
Portugal 164
Jordan 0
TOTAL 99,590
(Source: ISAF.)
It should be noted that the above totals are approximations and actual numbers change daily.
The Foreign Secretary published an Afghanistan Progress Report covering March 2013. A summary of the Report was given in a Written Statement on 24 Apr 13. The problems facing the logisticians as the campaign comes to an end are the subject of an interesting article in ‘The Economist’ (27 Apr 13). As expressed in the piece, the Americans are attempting “what they are calling the greatest feat of military transport in modern times”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/17, 29 Apr 13)

24 Apr 13. Syria: A Worsening Situation. The Foreign Affairs Committee published (24 Apr 13) an exchange of letters between the Chairman of the Committee and the Foreign Secretary. The Chairman’s letter sought information on the Government’s view that the Syrian crisis potentially poses a threat to UK security and on the legal basis for any decision to supply arms to the Syrian Opposition. In his reply dated 20 Apr 13, the Foreign Secretary said that the Government’s priority is a political settlement to the conflict. The Governme

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