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E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/30/2018 TAGS: KGIC, MCAP, PINR, PTER, PARM, IAEA, FR SUBJECT: GLOBAL INITIATIVE EXERCISE PLANNING GROUP FIRST MEETING, PARIS, 4-15-08
REF: MOSCOW 965
Classified By: POLITICAL MINISTER-COUNSELOR JOSIAH ROSENBLATT FOR REASO NS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
1. (SBU) Summary: As part of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Initiative co-chairs held the first Exercise Planning Group (EPG) meeting on April 15 in Paris to begin coordinating the development and execution of international exercises aimed at combating the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. Representatives from 26 countries participated in this meeting to chart the way ahead for the Initiative,s exercise program. Key items of discussion included the first GI table-top exercise to be hosted by Spain on May 29-30; the possibilities of generating new exercises around the GI principles, and integrating these principles into already-planned national exercises. South Korea volunteered to host a workshop in early 2009 on information sharing between countries. Some participants lamented co-chair Russia,s absence, but all expressed interest in the work of the EPG as a way to fulfill the principles of the Global Initiative. End summary.
Exercises to Enhance the Global Initiative
2. (U) The Exercise Planning Group (EPG) is an advisory body, open to participation by any partner of the GI. The EPG aims to meet twice per year to guide and support development of exercises and planning scenarios to enhance the capabilities of GI partners to accomplish the objectives in the GI Statement of Principles. The Statement of Principles and EPG related information as well as the presentations from this meeting are available online: http://t.state.gov/t/isn/cwmdt/gicnt/gicnt.ht m.
3. (U) The April 15, 2008 EPG meeting established a benchmark for future planning and highlighted key interests of partners. Those present identified interactivity and communication between local, national, regional, and global entities as of primary concern. They noted a tension between knowing what national vulnerabilities might be exposed by exercises and how best to share lessons learned without divulging sensitive information.
4. (U) Participants also noted that for effective integration of GI exercises with future national exercises, a long lead time would be required. Canada pointed out its five-year planning cycle. The US delegation noted intentions for the EPG to utilize a six- to twelve-month planning cycle. Advanced planning would provide for inclusion of national exercise resources in the GI exercise program; in certain instances it could also allow some GI principles to be tested, and international observers included, in national exercises.
5. (SBU) Georgia emphasized the need to exercise objectives focused on prevention of safe haven, finance, and information sharing. Georgia also highlighted its national requirement for training exercises focused on combating illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. Ukraine emphasized the importance of principle objectives focused on detection and consequence management. Ukraine also noted the challenge of integrating local authorities in the response phase of a
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crisis. The United Kingdom emphasized that exercises should be used to demonstrate and evaluate best practices to facilitate learning. Exercises will also allow partners to experiment with new concepts. Norway was "inspired" to think about appropriate planning scenarios and will discuss this issue with its interagency prior to the 4th meeting.
6. (U) In this first EPG, many but not all partners were represented by knowledgeable experts in the field of national security exercises. It was noted that for an effective exchange, officials familiar with their countries, exercise programs should attend future EPGs.
7. (SBU) The U.S. delegation strongly emphasized the importance of planning scenarios and their contribution to the development of exercises. The FBI provided a presentation on illustrative scenarios drawing upon U.S. national planning scenarios addressing improvised nuclear devices and radioactive dispersal devices. The U.S. requested all partners to provide recommended planning scenarios to U.S. and Russian co-chairs in early June to support principal-level discussions on exercise planning scenarios at the 4th meeting in Madrid.
Spain to Host Table-Top Exercise May 28-30 in Madrid
8. (U) The Spanish delegation reviewed plans for the table-top exercise (TTX) they will host in May. This served to focus discussion on exactly which GI principles would be tested, which countries would be at the table (Spain, Russia, Germany, U.S., possibly Morocco), general rules for participation in the TTX, how best to share the results, and how to use the electronic GI Information Portal (GIIP) to advance exercise efforts.
9. (SBU) In a US-Spanish meeting after the EPG, the Spanish delegation noted that each participating country should provide intelligence, law enforcement, crisis management, and diplomatic participants. Spain will conduct a dry run the week of May 26 with the TTX on the 29-30. U.S. reps said a GIIP team, a Red/White "cell," and facilitator would arrive in advance to support the dry run and actual exercise.
10. (C) Also at this side meeting, the Spanish (hosts of the 2008 GI Meeting in June) suggested that Chile be asked to host the 2009 GI Meeting, since Chile was present at this EPG and that the Spanish along with the US and Russian co-chairs would be conducting outreach activities in Latin America this year.
French Experience with Nuclear Exercises
11. (SBU) Mr. Eric Plaisant, Senior Advisor of the French High Official for Defence and Security provided a presentation on security drills at French nuclear sites. He noted that the protection of nuclear power plants in France is a shared responsibility between commercial operators and the government. Typically, France conducts a minimum of one national exercise every 18 months. Commercial operators conduct an average of 4-6 exercises per year. These exercises make use of Special Forces to simulate attacks, as well as simulated media and families of nuclear plant
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personnel to realistically portray challenges faced by decision makers, operators, and security elements during a crisis.
South Korea Offers to Host EPG Workshop
12. (SBU) The South Korean representative described that the workshop in early 2009 would examine how information flows between local, national, and international entities, specifically focusing on Global Initiative Principle 8. Partners responded positively.
No Russian Presence
13. (C) Repeated USG efforts to ensure participation by the Russian co-chair could not guarantee GOR participation due to a last minute medical emergency and staffing shortfalls. GOR did send reps to attend the Washington-based EPG planning meeting 4/8/08. REFTEL notes that the Russian point of contact for the Global Initiative changed the week before the EPG. Reps from some countries (notably Austria and Spain) expressed disappointment in Russia,s absence.
14. (U) Over 60 attendees from defense, energy, foreign affairs, law enforcement, intelligence, and other ministries from 26 partners took part in the 4/15/08 EPG, including: Australia, Austria, Bosnia, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, EU, and the United States.
French Bilateral Meeting April 16
15. (U) On April 16 Office of WMD Terrorism Acting Director Andrew Grant met with seven representatives from the French MFA to discuss the Global Initiative. The dominant themes for the meeting were: (1) EPG results, GI outreach, French participation in GI and GI activities, and HEU conversion and minimization.
16. (C) The French were pleased with the overall EPG meeting. They felt exercises on nuclear facilities were underutilized and saw the EPG as an opportunity to highlight that gap. The French are committed to the EPG and look forward to seeing if partnership will follow. However, the French recommended the EPG seek a clearer definition of "exercise" -- how to run complex exercises -- as it did not seem immediately clear to all EPG participants. Grant assured the French that it will take time to share model programs as we need all partners at same level of representation. Grant urged patience in building this program. The French also noted their concern about the US decision to share what they viewed as a potential vulnerability in the US presentation at the 3rd meeting on a possible nuclear terrorism scenario. French
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officials felt they would never want to share such a vulnerability and felt that the FBI,s presentation at the EPG reflected a course change to share such detailed information on a scenario. Grant pointed out that we likely see the issue as different. In no way did the US share a known vulnerability but we felt it important to offer even a modestly plausible scenario to focus the attention of the participants. It is a balance that requires constant attention and we felt that the timing and scenario was appropriate to call attention to the need for strengthening our transnational efforts.
Plan of Work Activities
17. (SBU) Grant then turned the meeting towards a potential joint Plan of Work Activity with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) on "Technologies for Combating the Nuclear Threat" Workshop. France said they might consider attaching this workshop to their already scheduled December activity to be run by France as the EU President. France will study our proposal and get back to us.
Global Initiative Information Portal
18. (C) The French were adamant in pointing out the information portal is an opportunity for information sharing -- not for passing sensitive information. The French would very much like the issue of confidentiality brought up at the GIIP meeting held this June in Estonia. Grant made it clear that the US would appreciate France,s participation in the GIIP meeting. France stated that they would consider attending.
France,s Outreach Efforts
19. (SBU) Grant encouraged France to outreach to Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, the Sahel and South Africa. France noted they would be attending a 1540 Workshop in the Persian Gulf this June, which could be a good outreach opportunity. Grant noted the Co-Chairs would be happy to participate in triple demarches with the French. France indicated that they would support this shared effort.
20. (SBU) Grant stated HEU minimization was important to work with both the political and technical experts for GI. He also noted the US would be discussing HEU minimization at the fourth meeting in Madrid. France said they would get back with us because they needed the "real" experts here to discuss this. Grant noted that he was not an expert on the subject himself but that the decision to convert was as much a political commitment as it was a technical commitment. France agreed. Grant also made clear that the specific issue of conversion would be highlighted at the GI meeting in Madrid.
France,s proposed GI workshop
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21. (SBU) France would like to hold a GI workshop on exercise methodology to focus on exercise benchmarks and improve partnership exercise capability. Grant asked for more information on this proposal.
French comment on overall Global Initiative
22. (C) France was apprehensive the Global Initiative may appear too Western. France recommended hosting the fifth Global Initiative meeting in a non-Western location. Also, France would appreciate a more coordinated planning cycle to ensure appropriate staffing is available to attend all of the GI meetings and activities.
23. (U) This cable was drafted and cleared by the U.S. delegation to the April 15, 2008 EPG in Paris.
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm