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NEWS IN BRIEF

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EUROPE

21 Jan 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The UK’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan is made clear in the enduring strategic partnership document signed by the Prime Minister and President Karzai in January 2012. (Oral Answer (OA), 21 Jan 14.)
After the military draw-down, the hope is that a NATO-led mission will replace the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF). (OA, 21 Jan 14.)
As at 31 Dec 13, the MoD had sold a wide range of equipment and de-militarised scrap in Afghanistan….with a value of approximately £2.8m. (Written Answer (WA), 21 Jan 14.)
British-mentored Afghan soldiers seized and destroyed 1,200kg of illegal fertilizer (used for making explosives) in an Operation in Helmand Province. (Media Ops, 21 Jan 14.)
AFGHANISTAN: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCE (ISAF)
TROOP CONTRIBUTING NATIONS (TCN) AS AT 15 JAN 14
United States 38,000
Armenia 121
United Kingdom 5,200
Finland 110
Germany 3,077
Norway 109
Italy 2,159
Lithuania 99
Georgia 1,560
Azerbaijan 94
Jordan 1,066
Portugal 78
Poland 967
Albania 74
Romania 505
Tonga 55
Turkey 458
Bosnia-Herzegovina 53
Bulgaria 417
Korea (RoK) 50
Australia 348
Mongolia 40
Slovakia 274
UAE 35
Sweden 270
Slovenia 34
Canada 265
Ukraine 28
Denmark 263
Montenegro 25
Spain 259
El Salvador 12
Czech Republic 219
Luxembourg 10
France 205
Greece 7
Netherlands 200
Ireland 7
Estonia 156
Austria 3
Macedonia 155
Iceland 2
Belgium 140
New Zealand 2
Croatia 140
Malaysia 1
Hungary 131
Bahrain 0
Latvia 131
TOTAL 57,614
(Source: ISAF.)
It should be noted that the above totals are approximations and actual numbers change daily.
Comment: The ISAF ‘drawdown’ is now becoming apparent, with reductions particularly obvious from the US (63%) and the UK (65%). Reductions were also made by Australia (33%), Turkey (44%), Romania (50%) and Canada (43%). The losses were slightly offset by the arrival of the Jordanian contingent of over 1,000. The net result was a reduction from 84,271 to 57,614 (68%). The Defence Committee is to conduct its initial session for its Inquiry into ‘Afghanistan’ at 14.30hrs on
Tue 28 Jan 14 in the House of Commons Committee Room 15. The session is to cover “progress towards withdrawal of UK troops and post-2014 involvement in Afghanistan”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/05, 27 Jan 14)

23 Jan 14. NATO: Military Priorities. NATO Chiefs of Defence concluded (23 Jan 14) a successful two-day meeting at NATO Headquarters identifying future military priorities in: Operations, Partnerships and Transformation. The Chiefs highlighted the importance of the ‘Smart Defence’ approach and agreed to focus attention on key projects such as Joint ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance) and Ballistic Missile Defence. The meeting concluded with a discussion on NATO’s activities in the maritime domain.
Comment: The future of NATO and its very existence is of particular concern to the UK, which will be hosting a summit in Wales on 4/5 Sep 14. Meanwhile, the Alliance’s role in Afghanistan post 2014 remains confused. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/05, 27 Jan 14)

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