235667 11/19/2009 16:58 09USNATO534 Mission USNATO SECRET//NOFORN VZCZCXRO3037 OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL DE RUEHNO #0534 3231658 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 191658Z NOV 09 FM USMISSION USNATO TO RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST IMMEDIATE 2457 RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST IMMEDIATE 0214 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 1290 RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3621 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0877 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1099 RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY RHMFISS/USNMR SHAPE BE PRIORITY S E C R E T USNATO 000534
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2019 TAGS: MOPS, PREL, MARR, MASS, NATO, AF, HU, RO, SP SUBJECT: NATO SYG PRESSES HUNGARY AND ROMANIA FOR MORE ISAF TROOPS
Classified By: CDA John Heffern. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: The U.S. Deputy Director of the Secretary General's Private Office Jeff Rathke (strictly protect) told us that Secretary General Rasmussen pressed Hungary and Romania on November 19 for additional troops for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Hungary said it would consider Rasmussen's request for 500 additional troops, but noted that finances would be a problem. Romanian President Basescu said that the most he thought Romania could send at this time would be 200 troops, not the 700 requested. He also said that he would look to the U.S. for assistance on equipment and training for troops, something he said would be important for any additional deployment. Basescu noted that upcoming Romanian elections would also have to be factored in to decisions on when Romania could announce an additional troop contribution. Rasmussen had also been planning to meet with Spanish President Zapatero on the 19th, but the Spanish cancelled. END SUMMARY
Hungary: Will Consider, but Finances a Problem
3. (S/NF) Rathke told us that in meetings with Hungarian leaders (PM, FM, CHOD, and MoD State Secretary) in Budapest, Rasmussen reported that the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) military authorities thought Hungary could provide an additional 500 troops. Rasmussen urged Hungary to consider doing so.
4. (S/NF) According to Rathke, the Hungarians said that they would look into the issue, while noting that financing could be a problem.
Romania: Need Equipment/Training, Elections to be Factored In
5. (S/NF) Rathke also told us that during a meeting later in the day in Brussels, Rasmussen urged Romanian President Basescu to contribute the 700 troops SHAPE had assessed were available. According to Rathke, Basescu noted that this was the number that had recently been withdrawn from Iraq, adding that the most he thought Romania could send now would be 200 troops.
6. (S/NF) Basescu said that decisions on any additional deployment, however, were dependent on the quality of the equipment available for the troops. He said that he would ask Washington whether it might be able to assist in this matter, adding that he would also be looking for U.S. training for the Romanian troops.
7. (S/NF) Basescu pointed out that Romania had elections scheduled for November 22 and December 6, noting that any Romanian announcement would have to factor in those dates. While saying he understood the domestic political logic, Rasmussen noted the need for a coordination of Alliance announcements in order to show a united Alliance.
8. (S/NF) COMMENT: In addition to considering the forthcoming requests for assistance from Romania in support of an additional deployment, Washington may wish to consider whether there are things it might be able to do to mitigate Budapest's financial concerns. HEFFERN