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Cablegate: D/Eucom Gen Ward Discusses Engagement in Africa

VZCZCXRO0707
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPOD RUEHRN
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHSW #0923/01 2611501
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181501Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4506
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFITT/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BERN 000923

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/AGS (MOON/TRICK/SAINT-ANDRE) AND EUR/INR
(KEETON)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR MASS PREL AF SZ
SUBJECT: D/EUCOM GEN WARD DISCUSSES ENGAGEMENT IN AFRICA
WITH TOP SWISS OFFICIALS

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) During a September 7 office meeting with Swiss
DefMin Schmid, and a subsequent joint MFA/MOD roundtable
discussion, Deputy EUCOM Commander General Ward and senior
Swiss MFA and MOD officials exchanged views on efforts to
enhance African security and stability. DefMin Schmid
characterized Swiss interests as "nearer" to Africa than
Afghanistan, referring specifically to migration from North
Africa. GEN Ward praised Switzerland's engagement in
Afghanistan and Africa. He observed that the implications
for international security of events in Afghanistan remain
extremely important. He encouraged Schmid to retain the
current Swiss contributions in Afghanistan. GEN Ward
explained that EUCOM is working to strengthen interagency and
international civil-military cooperation in Africa to ensure
that military tasks performed by EUCOM most effectively
support African stability. Swiss officials emphasized that
civil-military cooperation is an important component of Swiss
national security strategy. They suggested that Switzerland
possibly could be a good interlocutor for EUCOM regarding
Africa. Asked by the Swiss officials to elaborate on DoD
plans to establish a new unified Command for Africa --
AFRICOM -- GEN Ward underlined that, pending Senate
confirmation of his nomination to be the first AFRICOM
Commander, he could only comment in general terms from his
EUCOM perspective. He said that AFRICOM was intended to
build on and enhance EUCOM's long-standing engagement in
Africa, and that the emphasis was projected to be on
partnering and capacity building with African nations and
organizations. End summary.

2. (U) DefMin Office Meeting Participants:

- USG:
-- GEN Ward, Deputy EUCOM Commander;
-- COL Cypher-Erickson, DATT, Embassy Bern
-- COL Beene, Deputy POLAD, EUCOM
-- COL Bender, Executive Officer to D/EUCOM

- Swiss:
-- DefMin Samuel Schmid
-- AMB Raimond Kunz, Director for Security and Defense
Policy, MOD

3. (U) Roundtable Participants:

- USG:
-- GEN Ward, Deputy EUCOM Commander;
-- CDA Carter, Embassy Bern;
-- COL Cypher-Erickson, DATT, Embassy Bern
-- COL Beene, Deputy POLAD, EUCOM
-- COL Bender, Executive Officer to D/EUCOM

- Swiss:
-- AMB Anton Thalmann, Deputy Political Director, MFA
-- AMB Thomas Greminger, Head of Political Division IV -
Human Security, MFA
-- AMB Raimond Kunz, Director for Security and Defense
Policy, MOD
-- AMB Jacques Pitteloud, Head of the Center for Security
Policy, MFA
-- MG Urban Siegenthaler, Swiss Defense Attache, Washington,
D.C.
-- COL Urs Gerber, Deputy Chief of Staff for International
Relations, MOD

--------------------------------------------- ------------
DefMin Schmid - Swiss "Nearer" to Africa than Afghanistan
--------------------------------------------- ------------

4. (SBU) DefMin Schmid characterized Swiss interests as
"nearer" to Africa than Afghanistan, referring specifically
to migration from North Africa. He explained that Swiss
contributions to stability usually take place under a
multilateral umbrella, since the Swiss often need logistical
assistance from others (Note: Swiss law also requires a UN
mandate for the deployment of Swiss military personnel
outside of Switzerland. End note). The focus is first and
foremost on humanitarian assistance. Schmid also commented
that French-speaking Swiss soldiers can be particularly
helpful on such missions. AMB Kunz noted that Schmid is

BERN 00000923 002 OF 003


planning a trip to Africa at the end of November to reinforce
Swiss engagement in Africa.

5. (SBU) GEN Ward described EUCOM's objectives in Africa,
emphasizing the USG's interest in supporting stability by
strengthening civil-military cooperation there. He praised
Switzerland's engagement in Afghanistan and Africa, and
commended Schmid for being proactive in the realization that
events far from Switzerland can have a significant impact on
Swiss interests. In that context, GEN Ward observed that the
implications for international security of events in
Afghanistan remain extremely important. He noted that the
Swiss bring with them their strong international reputation
to their contributions. Therefore, even though their numbers
may be small, as in Afghanistan, such Swiss contributions are
still very significant. GEN Ward encouraged Schmid to retain
the current Swiss contributions in Afghanistan. He also
suggested that Switzerland participate in the Africa
Clearinghouse, given Swiss engagement in Africa.

--------------------------------------
EUCOM in Africa: Looking for Partners
--------------------------------------

6. (SBU) GEN Ward explained that EUCOM is working to
strengthen interagency and international civil-military
cooperation in Africa to ensure that military tasks performed
by EUCOM most effectively support African stability. He
emphasized that EUCOM is not looking to take on development
tasks, but to provide the best possible support to such
efforts. Against that backdrop, he said that EUCOM is very
interested in working with international partners, seeking to
benefit from their experiences in the region while
de-conflicting activities and sharing the ample workload.
GEN Ward also underlined that EUCOM seeks to "look at Africa
as Africans look at Africa," and views the African Union and
its five Regional Economic Communities (and their planned
standby brigades) as providing a useful framework for
cooperation, over and beyond continued bilateral initiatives.
He observed that EUCOM is widely engaged in Africa, focusing
on capacity building aimed at mitigating dangers to Africans
and to the wider international community.

-----------------------------------------
Swiss Engagement in Africa: Crisis Tools
-----------------------------------------

7. (SBU) AMB Thalmann welcomed GEN Ward's message, saying
that Europe is very sensitive to attempts to "solve every
problem (purely) militarily." He remarked that
civil-military cooperation is an important component of Swiss
national security strategy, and that Switzerland's militia
tradition (i.e., reliance on part-time soldiers) reinforces
the Swiss military's ability for civ-mil engagement. In that
respect, he said that Switzerland possibly could be a good
interlocutor for EUCOM regarding Africa. AMB Greminger
reported that Switzerland's engagement in Africa is focused
on Burundi and Sudan/Darfur, and to a lesser degree Somalia
and Chad. He observed that Switzerland had developed a
number of tools for its international security engagement
under the rubric of "civilian peace promotion," a concept he
noted that the EU would refer to as "crisis management." He
listed those five "tools" as:

-- using "good offices" to facilitate conflict resolution
(e.g., Columbia, Nepal, Burundi, Uganda);
-- "conflict transformation" through the promotion of
dialogue, small arms reduction, and transitional justice;
-- providing "civilian specialists," particularly police and
legal experts, in support of multilateral peacekeeping
efforts;
-- "diplomatic initiatives," normally launched within
multilateral frameworks (e.g., an initiative to mark/trace
small arms);
-- and "strategic partnerships" with institutions to mobilize
expertise (e.g., the Geneva Center for Democratic Control of
Armed Forces).

8. (SBU) AMB Pitteloud commented that, following the end of
the Cold War, Africa largely was neglected. He argued that
the international community is only now starting to realize
that Sub-Saharan poses emerging major security challenges
(i.e., "not just humanitarian and migration issues"). He
said that one important goal should be to provide increased

BERN 00000923 003 OF 003


training to Sub-Saharan militaries. Pitteloud also expressed
concern that some African countries could descend into chaos,
and that there may be an increased need to review
arrangements for evacuations of third country nationals. In
that connection, he noted that Switzerland often partners
with France, but that there may be some areas where France or
other European partners do not have the wherewithal and where
Switzerland might possibly look to the USG.

-------
AFRICOM
-------

9. (SBU) Asked by the Swiss participants to elaborate on DoD
plans to establish a new unified Command for Africa --
AFRICOM -- GEN Ward underlined that, pending confirmation by
the U.S. Senate of his nomination to be the first AFRICOM
Commander, he could only comment in general terms from his
EUCOM perspective. He said that AFRICOM was intended to
build on and enhance EUCOM's long-standing engagement in
Africa, and that the emphasis was projected to be on
partnering and capacity building with African nations and
organizations. No large U.S. military garrisons were
envisioned, and the location of the headquarters and any
other associated elements was still to be determined. He
stressed that more consultation and analysis was necessary
before such key decisions could be made.
CONEWAY

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