Thursday, 25 August 2016
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WE mark the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome. (To add a new entry email editor  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Following the UK report into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, which concluded that there was a "strong probability" that the murder was carried out under the direction of the FSB and with the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the question as to when the UK will finally tackle the criminal activities of the Russian state and its plutocratic associates seems wholly appropriate.

Experts have long highlighted the seamless links between Russian organised crime, the Kremlin elite and the Russian "Deep State". Edward Lucas of the Economist underlined the importance of these links in his books Deception and The New Cold War. Speaking at the Frontline Club in London in 2014, he said that no significant Russian company can operate without a licence from the state in the form of bribes in one form or another; that comment should be extended to the major criminal groups.

I reckon that Shakespeare was a bit of an insomniac. He's always banging on about sleep in his plays. But the Bard was right about recent events in Turkey, when he has the sleepless King Henry IV cry, 'uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.'

In the wake of his military's quashed coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not the only world leader uneasy about his hold on power.

However Erdoğan seems safe enough for the moment. His call for the mosques and social media - which ironically he once tried to ban - to come to his rescue, proves that nowadays whoever controls social media, controls the mob. He was elected president in 2014 by over 50 percent with a voter turnout of 74% and is worshipped by his supporters on the streets. Post-coup there is little doubt that Erdogan is now master of his own AKP Rentamob.

Marking the passing of those who have served this country, on the next page. Contributions from comrades and families welcome

Secretary of State : Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

Minister of State : Rt Hon Mike Penning MP (currently assumed to be Minister for the Armed Forces)

Minister of State : Rt Hon Earl Howe (unpaid in this position)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State : Mark Lancaster TD MP (Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State : Harriett Baldwin MP

Rt Hon Mark Francois MP has left the Government but has been appointed by the Prime Minister to conduct a review into the use of reserves in the Army.

Although often under reported, drone strikes – or claims of them – continue mainly in Afghanistan, but also in Somalia and Yemen. On the next page is a round up of alleged drone strikes in June 2016. Strikes by manned aircraft, often with indistinguishable effect, are excluded where identified as such.

Ben Ehrenreich's New Palestine Book Explores Life on "Planet Hebron" Reviewed by Charles Cross

When I moved to Lebanon in 1972, a joke was doing the rounds about an Englishman, a Frenchman, and an Arab tasked to write books about elephants. The Englishman wrote How to Hunt Elephants, and the Frenchman came up with Recipes for Cooking Elephants à la Française. The Arab, meanwhile, produced 12 volumes titled The Elephant and the Palestine Problem. Since then, publishers have poured out thousands of tomes on Palestine and Israel, some bad, some good. Ben Ehrenreich's The Way to Spring: Life and Death in Palestine is the latest, and it is excellent. Read more on the next page

General Sir Nicholas Carter, the Chief of the General Staff is having a 'Condor' moment. Readers of a certain age will remember a 1970s tv ad for a certain brand of cigar.... The British Army is no longer involved in the all-consuming business of operations in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The process of reform set in train by the 2010 SDSR is still working its way through both the MOD and the Army. General Carter is determined that the British Army should be ready for its next challenge, wherever it comes from. To do so it must pause and reflect.

The headline for this year's RUSI Land Warfare Conference was 'The importance of adaptability'. It could be reinterpreted as 'continuity and change' (enough media references!). CGS has developed a reputation as a thinking fighting soldier as befits his heritage as a Rifleman. Now that he has assumed the top job, he wants to ensure that the Army looks hard at its business. The Land Warfare Conference was an opportunity to do just that, writes Nick Watts.

Marking on the next page the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from colleagues and families welcome.

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