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Cablegate: North Atlantic Council Readout - September 19, 2007

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TAGS: NATO PREL AF
SUBJECT: NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL READOUT - SEPTEMBER 19, 2007

Classified By: DCM Richard G. Olson for reasons 1.4 (b) and...

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2017
TAGS: NATO PREL AF
SUBJECT: NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL READOUT - SEPTEMBER 19, 2007

Classified By: DCM Richard G. Olson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary from the NAC Meeting:

-- Afghanistan: The Secretary General )- supported by U.S.
and UK )- urged the Military Committee to resolve breaks of
silence on the ISAF contract helicopter lift initiative; The
Chairman of the Military Committee (CMC) reported he was
assured of Australia,s commitment to ISAF during recent trip
to Canberra; SHAPE urged nations to provide soldiers with
better counter-IED training prior to deployment; UK briefed
on seized Iranian weaponry shipments to the Taliban.

-- Balkans: The SYG announced that the Troika will brief the
NAC the week of October 15; the NAC will hold an informal
discussion in early October on the implications for KFOR of
likely post-December 10 Kosovo scenarios; NATO will provide
cluster munitions data to Serbia next week.

-- Darfur: The Portuguese PermRep informed the Council that
Chad has accepted the deployment of international
peacekeepers to eastern Chad.

-- Iraq: CMC announced that NTM-I started to conduct naval
training for Iraqi senior non-commissioned officers aboard a
British ship off the coast of Iraq.

-- AOB: The CMC reported that CHODs agreed at their
September 9-10 meeting to approve &Option II8 for reforming
the NRF, which calls for graduated force levels, and reached
a compromise agreement on Phase I of the Peacetime
Establishment review.

END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Afghanistan: Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer
expressed worry at the breaks of silence by two nations
(comment: France and Spain) in the Military Committee (MC),
which threaten MC approval of a proposal that would
common-fund contract helicopter transport lift for ISAF and
address one of the mission,s longstanding weaknesses. He
implored nations to resolve the breaks of silence urgently.
In their later interventions, both Ambassador Nuland and UK
Ambassador Eldon strongly supported the SYG, with Ambassador
Nuland also noting the beneficial effect the initiative could
have by eventually providing lift for ANA units to do more.
The SYG also informed Allies he would attend a high-level
JCMB meeting with UN SYG Ban and President Karzai on the
margins of the UNGA on September 23. He also urged relevant
nations to support ISAF,s UN mandate renewal, currently
under negotiation in the Security Council.

3. (C) CMC Henault briefed on his recent trip to Australia,
the first ever by a Chairman. He stated the Foreign
Minister, Defense Minister, and CHOD all assured him of
Australia,s firm commitment to ISAF, and noted the
likelihood of Australia extending its mandate beyond its
current expiration date of March 2009. He described
Australian satisfaction with their relationship with the
Netherlands in Uruzgan, but concern at overall force levels
in RC-South and the ability of the Taliban to return to areas
cleared by ISAF in the absence of capable Afghan security
forces. Australia is the 10th largest contributor to ISAF
and the leading contributor among NATO partners.

4. (C) Alluding to September 19 press reports of a new major
ISAF operation in the South, SHAPE DCOS for Operations MG
Wright noted to PermReps this was just a continuation of
ongoing operations in the Upper Gereshk Valley. He told the
NAC that the sub-national consultations portion of developing
a final Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS) had been

USNATO 00000520 002 OF 003


completed, and the ANDS was on track to be issued in March
2008: ISAF had received a list of priority development
projects from the Afghan government. He also stated that
with a recent agreement allowing USAID to share data with
ISAF,s Afghan Country Stability Picture database and with
new additional staffing, the ACSP database would be an even
greater tool for mapping development progress across
Afghanistan. MG Wright supported the SYG by re-emphasizing
the importance of the helicopter initiative to ISAF,s
operational success, and urged nations to do better on
counter-IED training for personnel deploying to Afghanistan.
IEDs are the most lethal threat to ISAF personnel, he stated,
and nations continue to send personnel to the theater with
inadequate training. Training is a national responsibility
according to NATO doctrine, Wright said, but NATO would start
developing its own counter-IED training syllabus in view of
the training,s importance and weaknesses in Allied nation
programs.

5. (S) UK Ambassador Eldon gave a lengthy brief on the
September 6 interdiction by ISAF forces of a munitions
shipment from Iran into Afghanistan containing Explosively
Formed Penetrator (EFP) technology. He said analysis of the
munitions )- including observation of the shipment crossing
the Iranian-Afghan border -- showed a clear link to Iran and
weapons the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force has
sent to insurgents in Iraq. Ambassador Eldon asserted the
IRGC Qods Force has made several arms shipments to
Afghanistan, that it maintains a strategic relationship with
the Taliban, and that it may have attempted to conceal its
activities from other branches of the Iranian government. He
stated the UK has talked with the Afghan government and the
Afghans realize the serious nature of the issue.

6. (C) Ambassador Nuland thanked the UK for the Iran brief,
and urged Allies with influence in Tehran to pressure the
Iranians on this issue. Supporting the SYG,s comments on
the fate of the ISAF helicopter initiative within the
Military Committee, she urged a fix prior to the Noordwijk
informal defense ministerial, lest it become a big issue
among Ministers. She cited U.S. success with the contracting
concept in RC-East, as well as the initiative,s follow-on
benefits for ANA mobility. Supporting the Canadian
Ambassador, who asked for more NAC discussion on police
training, she suggested a joint brief to the NAC by CSTC-A
Commander MG Cone and the new head of the EUPOL mission in
Afghanistan (whose role Belgium highlighted).

7. (C) Other interventions saw the Dutch Ambassador brief on
recent trips to Afghanistan by his Prime Minister and
Development Minister. He noted the Dutch PM urged Karzai to
strengthen the ANSF presence in Uruzgan, and the Development
Minister announced an additional 15 million euro in aid. The
UK also requested more information on what precisely ISAF is
doing against narcotics, within the confines of the OPLAN.
The Spanish Ambassador seconded the request, going further,
requesting information on any new CN Standard Operating
Procedures issued by ISAF. The Belgian Ambassador flagged
that the NAC had agreed with SACEUR in July that SHAPE would
provide regular updates to the NAC on the status of ongoing
investigations into civilian casualty incidents, but that the
NAC had yet to see an update. He also suggested that SCR
Everts might usefully report on the Qnteraction of PRTs with
local governments, given Karzai,s recent statements
discouraging governors from cooperating too closely with
PRTs. The SYG agreed such a report could be useful.

8. (C) Balkans: The SYG briefed that the Troika is meeting
separately with the negotiating parties in London and will
report the results of those meetings to the Contact Group.
The meetings will lead into next week,s Contact Group

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ministerial in New York on September 27 where the parties
will meet face-to-face following the ministerial. The SYG
will attend the ministerial and will update the Council upon
his return. The SYG informed the Council that he is
scheduling a NAC with the Troika during the week of October
15 prior to NATO,s informal defense ministerial. He
mentioned that recent Serbian rhetoric rejecting future NATO
membership, attributed to Prime Minister Kostunica, is likely
the result of their internal domestic political dynamic. The
SYG stated his intention not to engage in a public debate
with Serbian leaders over the comments, but will discuss them
privately in a phone call with Serbian President Tadic and in
his meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Jeremic next week
in New York.

9. (C) Lastly, the SYG informed the Council that he intends
to hold an informal NAC discussion in early October on the
implications for NATO of possible scenarios following the
Troika December 10 report to the UN SYG.

10. (C) The CMC briefed the Council that COMKFOR deployed
KFOR,s multi-national specialized unit to the northern part
of Kosovo in order to increase KFOR,s visibility and its
cooperation with UNMIK and the KPS. The Spanish, Portuguese,
and the Norwegian PermReps strongly supported the SYG,s
approach to Belgrade,s recent anti-NATO comments. The
Spanish PermRep, while not objecting to an informal NAC
discussion of Kosovo, called on Allied unity not to be
influenced by &rumored8 Kosovar intentions for December,
which should not affect Allied and UN thinking. In response
to the Norwegian PermRep,s inquiry, the SYG announced that
next week NATO will provide Serbia with the data it requested
on cluster munition dropped in southern Serbia during
Operation Allid Force.

11. (C) Darfur: The Portuguese PermRepinformed the Council
that Chad has accepted the eployment of international
peacekeepers to easten Chad in support of the mission to
Darfur.

1. (C) Iraq: CMC announced that NTM-I has the resoures and
is starting to conduct naval training forIraqi senior
non-commissioned officers aboard a ritish ship off the coast
of Iraq.

13. (C) AO: CMC reported that CHODs made progress on two
rcommendations at their September 9-10 meeting in Caada.
First, CHODSs accepted &Option II8 for refoming the NRF,
which calls for graduated force leels. The issue would go
to the NAC with the goa of presenting it for a final
decision by Defens Ministers at the Noordwijk ministerial.
Second, HODS reached a compromise agreement on Phase I of
the Peacetime Establishment review. An MCM documnt was
released under short silence procedure toexpire COB
September 17. He noted that many of the more difficult
issues would have to be addressed in Phase II and urged
nations to remain flexible.

14. (C) In an informal session, the CHODS also discussed
operations in Afghanistan and the effect of governance on
operations, the need for a true Comprehensive Approach, the
need to develop the ANA and ANP and for more embedded
trainers (OMLTs), and the importance of strategic
communication.
NULAND

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