The BBC has reported that, in a letter to the Prime Minister, BAE Systems Chief Executive Ian King said that there would be 'consequential costs' to the Ministry of Defence if the second of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers - HMS Prince of Wales - was abandoned. | Several media outlets report that Her Majesty The Queen will bid farewell today to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, which is to be decommissioned following the Strategic Defence and Security Review. | The BBC News Channel has featured Army Physical Trainers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards demonstrating exercises from the forward operating base fitness guide, designed for soldiers deployed on operations away from the main camps. | The Daily Telegraph reports that a Book of Remembrance dedicated to members of the Armed Forces killed in Iraq and Afghanistan has been launched with the backing of the Telegraph and three Service charities. | The Times runs a feature on how investment in Helmand to help generate jobs and services is persuading Afghans not to support the Taliban. | The Sun has published a piece from theatre describing how a British counter-improvised explosive device search team defused a large roadside bomb detected by Afghan soldiers in Gereshk, Helmand. | The Daily Star reports that Taliban fighters in Herat have been laying down their arms and joining the peace process following a recent campaign in the region. | The Financial Times reports that an increase in attacks in Iraq has raised fears that the country is in danger of returning to civil war as US troops withdraw and hand over security to Iraqi forces. | The Sun features an interview with Military Cross recipient Able Seaman Kate Nesbitt, who says she can't wait to return to the front line.
Allegations into treatment of Iraqi civilians
There has been some broadcast coverage about how Public Interest Lawyers Ltd is seeking a single public inquiry into allegations that Iraqi civilians were abused by British soldiers in Iraq. It is important to remember that these remain allegations of mistreatment - they are no more than that and remain unproven.
We are vigorously contesting the application; our view remains that a public inquiry is not necessary or appropriate. A costly public inquiry would be unable to investigate individual criminal behaviour or impose punishments. Any such inquiry would arguably therefore not be in the best interests of the individual complainants who have raised these allegations.
The MOD has set up the dedicated Iraq Historic Allegations Team to investigate these allegations so they are bottomed out as soon as possible. This is the most effective way of investigating these unproven allegations - to establish their truth or otherwise, identify any action that needs to be taken, and, should it uncover criminal behaviour, provides the proper means to deal with it.
The Baha Mousa and Al Sweady public inquiries are considering the circumstances of some allegations of abuse by UK forces in Iraq. A further public inquiry into these issues would not be appropriate.
SDSR House of Commons debate
Both the Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox and Minister for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey have addressed the House of Commons regarding the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). Click here to read what was said by Dr Fox and here to read what was said by Mr Harvey.