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30 Jul 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The MoD confirmed (30 Jul 13) that troops from 215 Corps of the Afghan National Army have conducted a
major operation in the Sangin District. Some 80 specialist UK advisers from 4th Bn The Rifles provided support and “a number” of insurgents were killed. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported a rise in the number of Afghan civilians killed or injured in the first six months of 2013: over 1,300 civilian deaths and 2,500 injured were recorded. (UN, 31 Jul 13.)
Comment: The ISAF „drawdown. is starting to become apparent, as shown by the figures on page 3. The overall figure of 87,207 reflects a reduction of 11%, with the US figure of 60,000 representing a reduction of 12%. One country, Singapore, has withdrawn from ISAF. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) concluded its deployment in Afghanistan with a ceremony held on 22 Jun 13 at the Multinational Base Tarin Kowt situated in Oruzgan. The SAF has deployed some 500 personnel to Afghanistan since May 2007 and has contributed to humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, force protection, intelligence and training. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/31, 05 Aug 13)
Jul 13. Defence Committee: Two New Inquiries. The Defence Committee has announced that it is to hold two new Inquiries; the third and fourth in a series which has evolved from the earlier Inquiry Towards the Next Defence and Security Review. The first of the new Inquiries is to examine the UK.s intervention strategy under the title Intervention: Why, When and How. In recent years UK Armed Forces have been involved in interventions throughout the world, most recently in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali. The Committee wishes to consider the strategy underpinning interventions and how this will evolve and change in the future. The second of the new Inquiries is to consider Deterrence in the 21st Century. The Committee starts with the premise that the context in which deterrence must operate has changed but that the concept of deterrence remains as important as ever.
Comment: The Committee has indicated ‘that it would welcome written evidence for its Inquiries: that for Intervention’ is requested by 18 Oct 13 and that for ‘Deterrence’ by 27 Sep 13. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/31, 05 Aug 13)
30 Jul 13. Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA): Exercise. The Lords. Spokesman on Defence confirmed (30 Jul 13) that the FPDA Exercise plot forecasts two live Exercises each year: one in the Spring and one in the Autumn. Four Typhoon aircraft were deployed in the Spring and it is planned for the UK to contribute a Type 45 destroyer in the Autumn. The Five Power Defence Chiefs Conference is to be held in Singapore in November 2013 and the UK.s Chief of the Defence Staff is due to attend.
Comment: The UK.s allies in the FPDA are Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore. There is a five year plan for the FPDA Exercises but details of those to be held after 2013 have yet to be released. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/31, 05 Aug 13)
02 Aug 13. Forty-six U.S. lawmakers have sent a letter to Turkish President Abdullah Gul slamming Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for making anti-Semitic statements and calling on Gul to “publically condemn the use of anti-Semitic rhetoric by government officials.” The bipartisan letter was prepared by Reps. Brad Schneider, Randy Weber, Lois Frankel, and Mark Meadows and cited numerous statements made by Erdogan in recent months. The signatories specifically singled out Erdogan’s description of Zionism as a “crime against humanity.” More recent statements, including the prime minister’s repeated statements that an “interest rate lobby” was