140449 2/7/2008 18:10 08USNATO48 Mission USNATO CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN VZCZCXRO2130 OO RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHNO #0048/01 0381810 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 071810Z FEB 08 FM USMISSION USNATO TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1619 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUCNOSC/ORG FOR SECURITY CO OP IN EUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0245 RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0536 RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 0506 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 0188 RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0466 RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 1475 RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA PRIORITY 4445 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 2428 RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST PRIORITY 0170 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0262 RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0465 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0830 RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0324 RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA PRIORITY 1154 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0354 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0752 RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0626 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0454 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0694 RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0271 RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE PRIORITY 0060 RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY 4888 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0586 RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0114 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0583 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 USNATO 000048
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2018 TAGS: NATO, PREL, AF SUBJECT: NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL READOUT - FEBRUARY 6, 2008
Classified By: CDA Richard G. Olson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C/NF) Summary from the NAC Meeting:
-- Afghanistan: The Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) is meeting this week in Japan at the Political Director level. Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC) General Henault reported on additional Afghan National Police in Musa Qala, increased efforts by the Opposing Militant Forces (OMF) to intimidate locals, use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and information ops, and reconstruction projects worth USD 14 million. In the operational brief, Rear Admiral Moreno of the International Military Staff (IMS) emphasized that winter weather slowed operational tempo in all areas. LTC De Ferriere of the Afghanistan Team, Intelligence Division of the IMS, briefed on the status of OMF and the effect of foreign influences in OMF.
The UK noted that according to the UNODC opium rapid assessment survey, opium production in Helmand had "stabilized." Several nations noted the importance of improved public messaging and strategic communications in shoring up the credibility of the Government of Afghanistan in the eyes of ordinary Afghans. In his parting thoughts to the North Atlantic Council (NAC), outgoing NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Dan Everts argued the "credibility of ISAF in the eyes of Afghans, the region and the world" was a significant problem.
-- Balkans: The SYG noted development of a NATO media strategy. SHAPE briefed on a NATO response to possible contingencies in Kosovo.
-- Africa/AU: The SYG proposed inviting the new African Union (AU) Chairperson, Gabon Foreign Minister Jean Ping, and the new Peace and Security Commissioner, Mr. Ramtane Lamara from Algeria, to brief the Council in the future.
-- Iraq: The SYG reported that the Private Office had recently received a letter from Iraqi PM al-Maliki on "Continuing the NATO-Iraq Partnership." In light of the letter, the SYG said he had invited NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) Commander LTG Dubik to brief the Council; exact date to be determined.
-- AOB: The Norwegian PermRep complained about the Military Committee's discussion of the possible impact of the Oslo Cluster Munitions process on Alliance interoperability absent a Council tasking. The Executive Working Group (EWG) reached tentative agreement on the text for the Interim Report on Missile Defense and the SYG placed the document under a short silence procedure. (Note: France broke silence on the document later in the day, resulting in it being sent back to the EWG for further discussion.)
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2. (C/NF) The SYG noted the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) was meeting during the week of February 4 in Japan at the Political Director level.
3. (C/NF) Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC) General Henault stated there were now 200 additional Afghan National Police in Musa Qala. He also reported on increased efforts by the Opposing Militant Forces (OMF) to intimidate locals, to use IEDs and information ops. He said this trend was likely to continue. Henault said that USD 14 million in reconstruction was going on in Musa Qala, including construction of a new mosque, high school, district center and clinics. At the same time, he noted that reconstruction was limited by lack of skilled local officials and workers, problems with roads, electricity, etc.
4. (C/NF) Rear Admiral Moreno of NATO's International Military Staff provided the operational brief, emphasizing that winter weather had slowed operational tempo in all areas. He pointed out that ISAF operations in RC-East had increased threefold over last winter, keeping the OMF busy and resulting in a five-month reduction in OMF attacks.
5. (C/NF) LTC De Ferriere of the Afghanistan Team, IMS Intelligence Division, gave a brief on the status of OMF. He stated that the OMF's nature had not changed since Februay 2007 -) the date of the last briefing on the sbject. The three main groups of OMF remain the aliban, HIG, and Haqanni. There was, however, anincrease in the local dimensions of these groupsand also in their association with criminal actiities.
6. (C/NF) De Ferriere stated that there as an increase in OMF violence in 2007, despite he OMF's losing some 4000 fighters and several imortant leaders. OMF had not been able to take trritory (such as their stated goal of Kandahar) nd had lost Musa Qala. According to De Ferriere, there were an estimated 5,000-20,000 Taliban fighers, about 1,000 Haqanni, and 700-1,000 HIG. He aid that assessments indicated that while losseswere felt by OMF commanders, OMF capabilities wee not degraded (e.g. OMF is now willing to fightlonger battles than in the past).
7. (C/NF) De erriere said that the OMF's weaknesses included teir use of foreign fighters, their fragile lines o communication to Pakistan, their lack of heavy weaponry, and the questionable level of commitment by lower-level fighters. He said their strengths included their use of information ops (including attacks on government and foreigners), their funding from the narcotics trade, their ability to exploit weaknesses of the GoA, their sanctuaries in Pakistan, their use of guerilla and asymmetrical tactics, and the increasing cooperation among the three main groups.
8. (C/NF) De Ferriere said that in 2008 there was likely to be a continuation of 2007 tempo; an increase in OMF activities in RC-South; and a focus on attacking ANSF, NGOs, and foreign civilians. He noted the emergence of a generation gap among OMF, with younger more aggressive, less ideological leaders displacing more ideological older figures (most of whom were educated in Pakistani madrassas) as an important dynamic worth watching. He said that there was
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evidence of this gap both among fighters and their leadership (e.g. Bakht Mohammed had challenged Mullah Omar.) He said the Pakistan factor was important, as there were an estimated 1.5 million students in the Pakistani border region, with about 10 percent being trained by fundamentalists. There was also strong evidence of Iranian influence on the OMF in the west. The other important dynamic he pointed to was the interest by some OMF figures in a reconciliation.
9. (C/NF) He said that there had been an estimated 45 percent increase in the number of foreign fighters in OMF from 2006 to 2007. These foreign fighters had brought with them new tactics, particularly on the use of improvised explosive devices and heavy weapons. Thirty-one percent were Pakistanis, with Arabs, Chechens, and Uzbeks also in significant numbers.
10. (C/NF) UK PermRep Eldon noted that the recently released UNODC opium rapid assessment survey had reported a stabilization of production in Helmand. Eldon also argued that "We're only in the second or third year of a 20-year campaign." Several nations noted the importance of improved public messaging and strategic communications to shore up the credibility of the Government of Afghanistan in the eyes of Afghans. CMC Henault noted that the NAC has approved the Strategic Communications paper and SHAPE was now staffing its implementation.
11. (C/NF) Outgoing NATO Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) to Afghanistan Dan Everts briefed the NAC, saying the greatest problem NATO faced was the "credibility of ISAF in the eyes of Afghans, the region and the world." Everts said that he saw two fights in Afghanistan -- the fight against the OMF and the fight for stability and security. He said that local Afghans do not always see the link, often viewing ISAF troops as foreign occupiers and being suspicious of the motives of the international community. He said that NATO needed good messaging to educate Afghans, including local mullahs and community leaders, about ISAF and the GoA's role. Everts also commented that reconstruction needs had been "under resourced" while the military effort had been "overemphasized." He opined that "the Iraq war has siphoned off resources needed in Afghanistan." Everts noted that the Afghan parliament had been "marginalized" by both Karzai's administration and the international community. He added that this marginalization was dangerous as there were powerful figures in parliament harboring anti-western views.
12. (C/NF) Everts strongly argued for better cooperation within the international community (both between civilian and military elements, and among the different civilian actors) and the elements of the international community should stop "bilateralizing" their relationships with the GoA. The international community needs to approach Karzai with unified positions. To this end, NATO's Comprehensive Strategy will be important. Everts added that he sometimes felt under-utilized as SCR by the ISAF military leadership and urged that the SCR be "structurally linked" to the commander,s group so he can participate in key discussions. He said that Afghanistan was not a priority at UN HQ, agreeing with the Turkish PermRep's comment that UNAMA was leery of associating too closely with ISAF and pointing out
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that one IED strike on UNAMA could cripple UNAMA's work for months.
13. (C/NF) The SYG reported on the re-election victory of Serbian President Tadic and expressed his hope that this would ensure that good cooperation between the Serbian armed forces and KFOR will continue. He noted that following the election the impetus toward the resolution of Kosovo,s status will intensify and that it was important to reassure all local and international actors of KFOR,s capability and commitment. Lastly, the SYG mentioned the development of a public diplomacy message for Kosovo, noting that NATO now had themes and a message the Alliance can draw on and which can be updated as necessary. The CMC informed the Council that in response to any situations that fall outside the recently provided NAC guidance, preparations had been made to handle time-sensitive requests from COMKFOR, JFC Naples, or SHAPE through the Military Committee.
14. (C/NF) Providing a SHAPE update, General Porter said that current planning guidance was sufficient and that troops and plans were ready. He emphasized that during the time period following a declaration of independence KFOR was planning on being flexible and responsive in order to respond to unforeseen events, moving -- if required -- away from fixed site, static operations. In an attempt to illustrate the range of complex scenarios that KFOR could face, General Porter provided several potential scenarios: Serb exodus from Kosovo; Serbian Ministry of Interior (MUP) uniforms in the north, with or without additional MUP from Serbia; and, an infrastructure crisis. He also updated the Council on the recent joint reaction training and planning between KFOR and UNMIK. In response to several PermReps' inquiries over UNMIK's current capability, General Porter said that UNMIK had no intention of drawing down and would remain at full strength. He said UNMIK would continue to have a visible presence in the north in close coordination with KFOR. UNMIK and the local police would have the lead on most policing operations, but with KFOR in support. Turkey took a stand on General Porter's remarks regarding KFOR support to international organizations, stressing that any support to such organizations had to be in accordance with agreed NATO procedures. In response, General Porter said that his remarks were intended to focus on support for KFOR in extremis situations and to NGOs supporting potential humanitarian efforts.
15. (C/NF) Italy reported that its Foreign Minister was in the process of briefing the Italian Parliament on issues relating to the status of Kosovo, adding that a public statement would also be made. The Italian PermRep noted that Italy had called for the international community's unity and solidarity during the resolution of the Kosovo status, adding that NATO enlargement to all three Balkan countries would help contribute to regional stability. Norway, Slovenia, and Hungary noted the importance of KFOR's neutrality in media messages from NATO. Spain, Romania, Slovakia, and Greece disagreed with some aspects of NATO media messages, saying
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that the newly developed strategy had elements regarding future security structures and new tasks that were not in line with what Foreign Ministers agreed last December. Spain also requested that the Council receive a briefing from NATO military authorities on the new tasks for NATO. The SYG responded that while he noted their objections, the strategy was not an agreed document and that it was based on the communiqu.
Africa - Support to the AU
16. (C/NF) The SYG proposed inviting the new African Union (AU) Chairperson, Gabon Foreign Minister Jean Ping, and the new Peace and Security Commissioner, Mr. Ramtane Lamara from Algeria, to brief the Council in the future. There was no objection. Both men were chosen for their positions at the February 2 AU summit in Addis Ababa.
17. (C/NF) The SYG reported that the Private Office had received, and circulated to Allies, a letter from Iraqi PM al-Maliki that included a request for continued NATO engagement in Iraq. He added that in order to facilitate discussion of the issues raised in the letter, he had invited NTM-I Commander LTG Dubik to brief the Council. CMC Henault noted that SHAPE, as part of the NTM-I Periodic Mission Review, had been tasked with outlining new training requirements for NTM-I and that the requests made in the Maliki letter would be incorporated into the SHAPE tasking. CMC Henault promised that the SHAPE input would be provided by the end of February.
--- AOB ---
18. (C/NF) The Norwegian PermRep said that the NATO Military Committee (MC) had begun an internal discussion on the possible impact on Alliance interoperability of the Oslo Cluster Munitions process. He argued that before this discussion continued the NAC should address through political channels whether it thought the MC should receive a tasking to embark on such a process, adding that he did not believe the MC could start this process without an instruction from the NAC. He went on to say that Oslo did not yet have an official position on whether such a tasking should be issued. The SYG said that PermReps could discuss this issue during one of their informal meetings in March.
19. (C/NF) The Executive Working Group (EWG) reached tentative agreement on the text for the Interim Report on Missile Defense. Fielding suggestions by several Allies -- including recommendations for the EWG to re-attempt consensus or, alternatively, have the International Staff issue a Chairman's Report for the Defense Ministerial )- the SYG placed the document under a short silence procedure. (Note: France later broke silence on the document, sending it back
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to the EWG for further discussion.) OLSON