28 Nov 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 25 Nov 16 Tornados attacked a mortar team and a truck-bomb factory in Mosul. On 27 Nov 16 Tornados
destroyed a strong point and two engineering vehicles in Mosul, while Typhoons engaged two mortar teams on the outskirts of the city. (MoD, 28 Nov 16.)
“The ancient city of Aleppo, as we know it, is on the verge of being wiped from the face of the earth.” Statement by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN. (FCO, 30 Nov 16.)
“The MoD continues to work with allies and partners to develop flexible and credible options to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Aleppo.” (Armed Forces’ Minister, 1 Dec 16.)
Comment: The Armed Forces’ Minister went on to say that flying RAF transport aircraft through the airspace around Aleppo “would expose UK personnel to a severe risk of attack”. That statement rather begs the question as to the reason for having Armed Forces. A Statement on the situation in Aleppo was presented in both Houses of Parliament on 28 Nov 16. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/47, 05 Dec 16)
30 Nov 16. Afghanistan: Continuing Support. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (30 Nov 16) that the UK continues to make a key contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission; defined as “a non-combat, train, advise and assist mission to build a secure and stable Afghanistan”. The UK’s current contribution to the mission is some 450 personnel.
Comment: On 9 Jul 16 the Defence Secretary announced the deployment of an additional 50 troops to the Resolute Support Mission. The additional troops are due to be deployed “in early 2017” and will be employed at
the Afghan National Army Officers. Academy, with the Afghan Air Force and with the Afghan Security Ministries. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/47, 05 Dec 16)
28 Nov 16. Poland: Historic Summit. The Prime Minister welcomed the Polish Prime Minister to London (28 Nov 16) for a summit “designed to
strengthen the relationship between the UK and Poland as Britain prepares to leave the EU”. The UK-Poland bilateral summit brought together both Prime Ministers along with a number of their senior Cabinet Ministers for the first meeting of its kind. The two Prime Ministers held bilateral talks focused on Brexit and Defence co-operation as the other Ministers met at Lancaster House.
Leaders discussed further details for the planned deployment of 150 UK troops to North East Poland in April 2017 on a rotating basis. In the first of what will be an annual meeting between Governments, a
comprehensive programme of collaboration was agreed, covering: Defence, Foreign policy, Security, Business & the economy, Science and Innovation.
Comment: UK Ministers taking part in the summit were: the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Foreign, Defence and Home Secretaries; the Secretaries of State for Business and for Exiting the European Union and the
Ministers for the Armed Forces and for Employment. The six Polish Ministers accompanying their Prime Minister covered the same areas as their British counterparts. A Joint Communiqué, covering UK-Polish intergovernmental consultations, was published on 2 Dec 16 and
included an agreement to sign a Defence co-operation treaty. The Communiqué is available on the MoD web page via the Government portal (www.gov.uk). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/47, 05 Dec 16)
29 Nov 16. Shipbuilding: National Strategy. Sir John Parker’s Independent Report into naval shipbuilding was published (29 Nov 16); setting out “far-reaching recommendations to transform the United Kingdom’s shipbuilding industry and boost the prosperity of shipyards and supply chains across the country”. The Report identifies key areas where Government and Industry must invest in order for UK shipbuilding to thrive: Modern digital engineering; Industrial innovation; Competitiveness; Focus on apprenticeships & jobs and Export-focus. A copy of the Report can be accessed on the MoD web page via the Government