Search

 

Cablegate: Exbs Afghanistan Advisor Monthly Border Management

VZCZCXRO5401
PP RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIK RUEHKUK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #1731/01 1441206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241206Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8283
INFO RUCNEXC/EXPORT CONTROL AND RELATED BORDER SECURITY
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4106
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 6716
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 2046
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0007
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0471
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0472

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KABUL 001731

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/A, ISN/ECC PVANSON, ACHURCH, CBCRAFT
DEPT FOR CBP/INA FOR CDONOFRIO, MMULLINS, ISAUNDERS, JSULLIVAN,
JAHERN
USOSCE for JCS
DOE/NNSA FOR RSTUBBLEFIELD
DOC FOR ELOCKWOOD-SHABAT
DOT FOR APARAMESWARAN
SECDEF FOR FLIGHT, AND RVIERKANT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC PARM ETRD EFIN PREL KSTC KNNP AF

SUBJECT: EXBS Afghanistan Advisor Monthly Border Management
Initiative Reporting Cable - April 2007

KABUL 00001731 001.2 OF 004


Sensitive But Unclassified

I. SUMMARY

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The new Border Management Task Force (BMTF)
Director, and the Finance and Metrics Coordinator, and the Customs
Systems Coordinators are expected to arrive between mid-May and
early June. These positions are located at the U.S. Embassy in
Kabul. In addition, six mentors who will be responsible for
mentoring Afghan Border Police (ABP) and Customs Police and Customs
officials are expected to arrive in-country in mid-June. The BMTF
and USAID are in the process of exploring procedures by which USAID
Customs Advisor contractors with Bearing Point would hire additional
advisors to augment the BMTF's efforts. The BMTF representative
from the Afghan Engineering District (AED), U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, has been assisting in a site survey of the Spin
Boldak/Weesch border crossing in anticipation of obtaining donor
funding to construct a more secure BCP at Weesch on the Pakistan
border in Kandahar Province.

2. (SBU) The Border Management Initiative (BMI) Executive Steering
Committee (ESC) met and discussed the status of presenting the
Presidential Decree to President Karzai for the establishment of the
Border Management Commission within the Government of Afghanistan
(GoA). The BMTF construction project at the Islam Qalah BCP, funded
by the Joint Interagency Coordination Group-Counter Narcotics
(JIACG-CN), is estimated to be completed in July 2008. JIACG-CN is
also funding the $11 million BCP project at the Shir Khan Bandar BCP
in Kunduz Province. AED will oversee this project, which includes
the construction of a similar BCP on the Tajikistan side at Nizhny
Pyandzh. A meeting with officials from the U.S. Embassy in
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan centered on the development of an
Afghan-Turkmenistan Cross-Border Communication Program at the Imam
Nazar BCP in Turkmenistan and the Aquina BCP in Afghanistan. The
BMTF is coordinating with the Italian Embassy to recruit 10 Guardia
di Finanza officers in Herat to teach Customs courses to Customs
personnel at the Kabul Customs Training Facility. EXBS procured
three x-ray scanners for use at Kabul and Mazar airports. END
SUMMARY.

II. ITEMS OF BROAD INTEREST.
3. (U) The BMTF is moving forward with the expected arrival
between mid-May and early June of the new Director, Finance and
Metrics Coordinator, and the Customs Systems Coordinator. These
positions are located at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Six mentors,
who will be responsible for mentoring Afghan Border Police (ABP) and
Customs Police and Customs officials, are expected to arrive
in-country in mid-June. The mentors consist of former Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agents and Customs/Immigration
Officers. The mentor teams will be split between the Torkham BCP in
Nangarhar Province and the Islam Qalah BCP in Herat Province. The
funding for these positions and associated support is provided by
the Joint Interagency Coordination Group-Counter Narcotics
(JIACG-CN) from CENTCOM.
4. (U) Recent departures from the BMTF include the Assistant
Director and the Customs Systems Coordinator. The Strategic Planner
and EXBS Advisor positions will be vacated at the end of May.
Replacements for these positions are expected in June and July 2007.

5. (U) The BMTF and USAID are in the process of establishing
procedures by which USAID Customs Advisor contractors with Bearing
Point would hire four additional Bearing Point Customs advisors to

KABUL 00001731 002.2 OF 004


augment the BMTF's efforts in support of the Afghan Customs
Department (ACD). Two of these advisors would deploy to the
Jalalabad Inland Container Depot that serves the Torkham BCP. The
other two advisors would deploy to the Herat ICD that serves the
Islam Qalah BCP. Their function would be to mentor/advise on-site
ACD staff and provide direct communication, coordination and support
to BMTF mentor teams in Torkham and Islam Qalah. BMTF has also
requested that USAID consider hiring a fifth Customs Advisor through
Bearing Point to be housed in Kabul with the BMTF to provide
coordination between the field mentors/advisors, their respective
chains of command, and the ACD in Kabul.

6. (SBU) The BMTF representative from the Afghan Engineering
District (AED), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been assisting the
ACD in a site survey of the Spin Boldak/Weesch BCP location in
anticipation of obtaining donor funding to construct a more secure
BCP at Weesch, on the Pakistan border in Kandahar Province.
Security, smuggling, and infrastructure issues, stemming from the
lack of construction space for a suitable BCP, prompted the BMTF
Strategic Planner and the AED representative to meet with U.S. and
Pakistan officials in Islamabad, Pakistan, to explain the need for a
corresponding BCP in Pakistan, and potentially a joint BCP, adjacent
to Weesch. Pakistan officials were in agreement with the concept
and future meetings are expected to follow through with the
suggestion.

7. (SBU) The Director General for ACD informed the BMTF that he
will be meeting with World Bank representatives in May to discuss
World Bank funding of the Weesch BCP and the Khowst ICD in Khost
Province. Typically, the World Bank utilizes the services of UNOPS
to construct such a project. However, BMTF will make the services
of the AED representative available to impart information developed
thus far to assist in the construction of the Weesch BCP. The need
for this new BCP is also being championed by ISAF to better secure
the free flow of human and commercial traffic from Pakistan through
this area. News reporting of Taliban insurgents and illegal weapon
trafficking suggests this area is a favored entry point of the
Anti-Coalition Forces (ACF). The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has
earmarked $5 million to equip the Weesch BCP after its
construction.

8. (SBU) The Border Management Initiative (BMI) Executive Steering
Committee (ESC) met and discussed the status of presenting the
Presidential Decree to President Karzai for the establishment of the
Border Management Commission within the Government of Afghanistan
(GoA). The minister for MoF stated he will take the necessary steps
to make a formal presentation of the decree to the President. This
Commission is designed to mirror the goals and associated activities
of the BMI enabling the GoA to take ownership of its border
management initiatives. At issue during this meeting were the roles
of GoA ministries at the border and in part the lack of mutual
support and misunderstandings between MoF and MoI at the BCPs.
Although the MoI and MoF are in agreement of their respective roles,
the BMTF has scheduled a meeting between the Director General of ACD
and the Commanding General of MoI to further discuss the new border
strategy as it affects the BCPs. In this meeting the drafting of
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Memorandums of Understanding
(MoU), as they pertain to new strategies agreed upon by all parties,
will be discussed. A Deputy Minister level BMI Working Group
meeting is scheduled for mid-May for further discussion of topics
addressed at the ESC.


KABUL 00001731 003.2 OF 004


9. (SBU) The BMTF construction project at the Islam Qalah BCP,
funded by the Joint Interagency Coordination Group-Counter Narcotics
(JIACG-CN), is estimated to be completed in July 2008. The cost will
be $15 million. Issues such as the illegal fuel distribution being
conducted at the direction of the Herat Provincial Governor threaten
continued progress. The BMTF met with Civil Affairs teams and
Elders in the villages surrounding Islam Qalah BCP to discuss
options in mitigating negative impacts on the local economy. By
involving the local villages, BMTF hopes to preclude the development
of any problems that may arise during the construction of the BCP
that will certainly have impact on the local population.

10. (SBU) JIACG-CN is also funding the $11 million BCP project at
the Shir Khan Bandar BCP in Kunduz Province. AED will oversee this
project which includes the construction of a similar BCP on the
Tajikistan side at Nizhny Pyandzh. Completion of theses 2 BCPs is
expected to be at the end of this year. The EC will be constructing
a $10 million Euro commercial depot in connection with the U.S.
funded BCPs for clearance and storage of goods by the ACD. A ground
breaking ceremony for this site will be scheduled in May by the EC.
The U.S. funded $35 million Afghan-Tajik Bridge being constructed by
AED at Shir Khan is scheduled to be complete in August.

11. (SBU) The BMTF, GPPO, CSTC-A, and INL Police Mentor
representatives conducted a meeting with U.S. Embassy officials from
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, the Turkmenistan Consul General and the
Turkmenistan Deputy Minister of National Security. Turkmenistan
Embassy personnel included the EXBS Advisor, Econ and the Defense
Attach. The meeting centered on the development of an
Afghan-Turkmenistan Cross-Border Communication Program at the Imam
Nazar BCP in Turkmenistan and the Aquina BCP in Afghanistan. In
addition, the BMTF was able to conduct an Aquina BCP (Faryab
Province) Recon and Assessment of the BCP infrastructure. The
European Commission is slated to provide the funding for a new BCP
facility at Aquina and the Heratan BCP in Balkh Province.

12. (SBU) The BMTF is coordinating with the Italian Embassy to
recruit the Guardia di Finanza in Herat to teach Customs courses to
Customs personnel at the Kabul Customs Training Facility. Afghan
Customs currently has little capacity to conduct a comprehensive
course for its staff of over 1900 officers. The Guardia di Finanza
is well qualified to conduct courses for Afghan Customs, but
currently insist on teaching Customs related topics to the Afghan
Border Police in the Herat INL Regional Training Center.
Discussions with the Italian Embassy DCM are progressing on the
alteration of the Guardia di Finanza's course of instruction to be
directed more towards ABP duties, including immigration procedures.
The BMTF met with the Italian Embassy Defense Attach who stated
that the Italian government is willing to provide 10 additional
Guardia di Finanza instructors to train Customs officials in Kabul
if they would be allowed to teach in a secure training facility
located next to the Italian military compound in Kabul. This
facility is currently being used by the Afghan National Army for
training being conducted by the U.S. military. The BMTF is making
inquiries in an effort to secure classrooms and barracks for the
students.

13. (SBU) EXBS is in receipt of 3 Rapidscan X-Ray scanners, 2 of
which will be employed at the Kabul International Airport (KIA) to
screen hand baggage, cargo and hold baggage placed on commercial
carriers. The third scanner will be employed at the Mazar-E-Sharif
international airport in Balkh Province to scan cargo and hold

KABUL 00001731 004.2 OF 004


baggage. The German Police Project Office (GPPO) is in receipt of 2
additional Rapidscan X-Ray scanners to be placed inside the Mazar
airport terminal for scanning passengers and hand baggage. GPPO
recently provided similar scanners for use at the Herat
international airport in Herat Province. EXBS also procured one of
two 40 ton cranes for use by the ACD. The crane that has been
purchased is currently being retrofitted for use at the Kabul
Customhouse.

14. (U) TRAINING CONDUCTED DURING REPORTING PERIOD.

Nothing to report.

15. (U) EQUIPMENT DELIVERED DURING REPORTING PERIOD.

Under Procurement.

16. (SBU) IMMINENT TRAINING OR EQUIPMENT STATUS UPDATE.

EXBS is awaiting the delivery of fiber optic scopes, density meters,
radioisotope identifiers, explosive detectors, handheld metal
detectors, a 40 ton crane, two forklifts, vehicle inspection kits,
and tool kits destined for the Islam Qalah and Towraghundi BCPs.
Delivery is scheduled in May 2007 for the explosive detectors and
the 40 ton crane; and July 2007 for the fork lifts. However, no
dates are available for the remaining items, but the EXBS Advisor
has secured temporary storage for the equipment and will coordinate
logistical arrangements as the equipment arrives. An 'End-User
Statement' for the Sabre tri-mode explosive detection systems has
been provided by the GoA and has been sent to the manufacturer as
required before delivery can be scheduled.

17. (U) SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN EXPORT CONTROLS,
NONPROLIFERATION, OR RELATED BORDER SECURITY.

Afghanistan Joins Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism
(GICNT): On April 16, the MFA provided post a Diplomatic Note
confirming the GoA's endorsement of the Statement of Principles of
the GICNT (see also KABUL 1427).

18. (U) OTHER SIGNIFICANT ISSUES/EVENTS.

Nothing to report.

19. (U) RED FLAG ISSUES.

Nothing to report.

20. (U) Please direct any questions or comments to Barry F. Lory,
EXBS Advisor to Afghanistan; +93-700-073-652 or +93-700-108-272;
lorybf@state.gov or to Cassady Craft, South Asia Regional Program
Analyst, Office of Export Control Cooperation,
202-647-1063,craftcb@state.gov.

WOOD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: